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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-05-29

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] FinMin Varoufakis: There will be one and good agreement
  • [02] "The government will not sign any agreement," Alternate FM Tsakalotos says

  • [01] FinMin Varoufakis: There will be one and good agreement

    There will be one and good agreement...this negotiation has been dragged enough...it will include the pension system, labor market and the public debt," Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Friday.

    In a radio interview, Varoufakis said there was convergence in most fronts and daily progress during negotiations, while he stressed that the final deadline was June 30, when an extension of the lending contract would be completed, while he noted that leaks of an one -week ultimatum sent by the Euro Working Group "were not helping negotiations".

    The Greek FinMin said the two sides have not reached an agreement on reforming a VAT system, but that Greek authorities and its creditors were now discussing on the same reform model. "The final proposal will have three VAT rates," Varoufakis said. He declined to offer more details and criticized Greek press for its coverage of negotiations so far. According to the latest Greek proposal, the FinMin said, a reduced VAT will be introduced on food and restaurants, but a higher VAT will be inroduced on hotels bringing them to European standards. Varoufakis said it was unacceptable to discuss a tax on bank transactions and noted that "thankfully" this proposal was withdrawn from the table because of the strong resistance by the Finance ministry.

    He repeated that the reason that negotiations have not been completed so far was the austerity asked by the institutions and explained that the institutions demanded what they called "parametric measures". Varoufakis said that the institutions demanded permanent fiscal measures that lead to recession but noted that the government will not accept permanent recessionary measures.

    He said that a property tax current imposed was "an unacceptable tax" and stressed that the government has not yet decided on keeping it. "It is part of negotiations," he noted. He added that the government "might accept some unjust measures for a period of time to avoid others", but noted that the government will seek alternative measures to abolish the repulsive property tax.

    Commenting on car taxation, Varoufakis said the ministry did not plan to put extra burden on consumers who bought new generation diesel engine cars.

    Responding to a journalist question whether he will be Finance minister after an agreement with the institutions, Varoufakis said: "Personally I am not a kind of a man that drops down his sword".

    [02] "The government will not sign any agreement," Alternate FM Tsakalotos says

    ANA/MPA---"The government will not sign any agreement," Alternate Minister for International Economic Relations Euclid Tsakalotos on Friday said in an interview with "Agora" newspaper.

    Asked on the government priorities (salaries and pensions or loan obligations), he said that everyone is aware of the government priorities, especially as regards salaries and pensions.

    "Rift is not a fetish. We are working for a good solution, but everyone knows that our limits are very specific," Tsakalotos said.

    He underlined that the agreement must break the vicious circle of 'extend and pretend'. "We did not say, as we have been accused of, that we do not need help. We just said that there is no point in continuing this policy that leads nowhere," he stressed.

    The Alternate Foreign Minister also said that the agreement reached must put an end to speculations about Grexit.

    The agreement, he added, must allow the implementation of another policy, which will give the possibility to large parts of the population to return to the labour market within a macroeconomic framework of lower primary surpluses and an investment programme.


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