Government: Any discussion on divergence from fiscal targets must wait until after the conclusion of the first review

Any discussion on divergence from fiscal targets must wait until after the conclusion of the first review, Greek government sources insisted on Monday, while criticising the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) positions. Once a discussion on Greece’s debt has begun, this can incorporate a discussion on any missed fiscal targets, the sources said.

Their criticism of the IMF position was centred mainly on the fact that IMF forecasts have failed to be confirmed before and the likelihood that this would happen once again, as well as the fact that economic figures were better than expected.

They also noted that the European Central Bank’s decision to allow Greek banks to join the ECB quantitative easing programme was expected to facilitate bank lending and boost liquidity in the Greek market, while Eurostat was expected to release figures in the next few days showing that the Greek economy was performing better than initially forecast.

In light of this, the government sources said that an agreement with the institutions on the level of technical teams before the Eurogroup meeting scheduled on April 22 was both a reasonable and realistic target.
The sources also noted that the Staff Level Agreement that will be discussed at the Eurogroup will include the Greek proposals for pensions and taxes, since there were no objections to the government proposals during the negotiations.

They said the government was steadfastly aiming to complete the review and striving for its conclusion by the next Eurogroup so that a discussion on relieving the country’s debt can begin. At this stage, the only thing that can happen is the implementation of the July agreement, nothing more and nothing less, the same sources insisted.