There have been reports that the European Commission might not publish its third enhanced surveillance report next week, but it is certain that the issue of meeting this year’s fiscal targets will not disappear for the current Greek government or its successor.
There appears to have been keen interest in the schemes launched this week allowing taxpayers to settle their unpaid taxes and social security contributions in up to 120 instalments, possibly boosting the government’s efforts to convince the institutions that Greece will be able to meet its fiscal targets this year.
A new internal evaluation document published by the International Monetary Fund on Monday can be added to the existing material that has been released by the IMF on Greece outlining what a formidable task the country faced in 2010 when it signed the first programme with the eurozone and the Washington-based organisation.
Thursday’s Eurogroup resulted in a warning from European Stability Mechanism managing director Klaus Regling that Greece may miss its primary surplus target this year as a result of the so-called positive measures adopted.
The Greek government is in an awkward position regarding the expansionary fiscal measures announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last week and adopted by Parliament on Wednesday.
The Greek government is set to find out this week what the institutions think about the package of positive measures submitted to Parliament on Monday and due to be voted into law by Wednesday.
There has been a highly sceptical reaction from the institutions to the fiscal expansionary measures announced by the Greek government this week, including a reduction to VAT rates and a bonus for pensioners.
The package of expansionary measures announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday is due to be covered by the fiscal space the government expects over the coming years but also creates some doubt about the primary surplus targets agreed with the lenders.
The government is due to table in Parliament on Monday draft legislation paving the way for debts to the tax office, social security funds and municipalities to be settled in up to 120 monthly instalments.
Greece submitted on Thursday the Stability Programme for the 2019–2022 period in line with the requirements of the European Parliament and the Council regulations, which also corresponds to the national medium-term fiscal plan.