PM Tsipras to meet with EC, IMF and ECB heads today in Brussels

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will fly to Brussels on Wednesday to meet with European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and two top European Union officials to discuss further steps, an EU official said.

IMF disagrees on corporate tax, VAT and pensions

According to the Wall Street Journal, the IMF is still unhappy with key aspects of Greece’s new economic proposals and German officials were irritated by the speed with which the Commission welcomed them, warning that much work needs to be done.

Greece’s plan calls for reducing the deficits in its pension system and government budget by heavily relying on raising taxes and social security contributions, whereas the IMF wanted bigger spending cuts.

The IMF has said Greece’s economy is already too heavily taxed and that further tax increases would hurt economic growth, making it harder to pay down the country’s debt.

“It is still short of everything that should be expected,” Lagarde said on Monday, suggesting Greece will have to significantly modify its proposals to win the IMF’s backing.

IMF representatives have told European officials that they are also not yet satisfied by Greece’s broader economic overhaul plans beyond its budgetary promises. The IMF sees a wider, business-friendly shake-up of Greece’s economy as essential if the country is to improve its long-term economic growth.