The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was insisting on the legislation of measures that were not in the 2015 agreement and in a format that was contrary to the Greek Constitution, Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said in a press briefing on Wednesday.
“The legislation of ‘contingent’ measures – as insisted on by the IMF – moves outside the boundaries of the Greek constitution and outside the boundaries of the European legal system,” she noted. The “fiscal correction” mechanism proposed by the Greek side, by contrast, met all the conditions raised by the Eurogroup last week in terms of being automatic, objective and reliable, while it was also legal to vote into law, she added.
Consequently, the Greek government considered that the agreement to conclude the review can be achieved by accepting the fiscal correction mechanism, which will be accompanied by a specific solution for relieving Greece’s debt, Gerovasili said. She noted that the Greek side was prepared to discuss all the legal and economic details of its proposed mechanism but “cannot go beyond it,” adding that the talks with the institutions will resume later on Wednesday on this basis.
Referring to the discussion between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Council President Donald Tusk, the spokeswoman said Tsipras had expressed his displeasure at the IMF’s insistence on measures going beyond the July 2015 agreement and the inability to convene the Eurogroup. The prime minister asked Tusk to convene an emergency EU summit if the inability to convene a Eurogroup meeting is confirmed in the next few hours, she said.
The Greek government welcomed Tusk’s statement underlining the need to set a firm date for the next Eurogroup within a few days, considering it extremely positive, she said. It also welcomed a statement by Gianni Pittella, the head of the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament, who had referred to “hawks” attempting to “blackmail” Greece and said there should be an extraordinary Euro summit if the Eurogroup fails to find a solution.
Gerovasili also announced that the chairman of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee was calling an emergency meeting of the Working Group on the Greek programme.
“The Greek government, fully meeting its commitments to both the Greek people and the lenders, has presented a reliable package of measures. The Greek government is honouring to the letter all that was agreed in July and signed in August with the institutions,” she said.