Athens: The ball is now in Greece’s court to solve its debt crisis. It’s expected to release a list of reforms in the next few days, in order to access much-needed bailout funds.
Some Greeks are happy their government is being given greater autonomy in the process.
ATHENS RESIDENT, THEODORIS LIOLIOS, SAYS, “The good thing is that it looks like the government will be able to decide which measures these will be, and that they will not be imposed on by others.”
But the reality is that the country is being kept on a tight leash.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Greece must stick to “every paragraph” of February’s bailout extension deal – and insists Greece will only be able to access fresh funds after the list of reforms is approved by creditors.
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYS, “The Greek government has the opportunity to replace certain reforms that were still outstanding on December 10 with new economic reform proposals, as long as they have the same effect within the framework of the agreement. And whether they will have the same effect, the European institutions will decide.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, in what will be his first official visit to Berlin.
But with previous proposed reforms including wiring up tourists to gather evidence on tax evaders – not everyone is convinced Greece has what it takes to come up with the goods.
Mike Ingram is a market analyst at BGC Partners.
BGC PARTNERS MARKET ANALYST MIKE INGRAM SAID, “Most of the suggestions that Greece has come up with so far are badly thought out to the point of amateurism. That’s been pointed out by a number of people within Brussels. So I think there is a very real fear that whatever they come up with is going to be more of the same, it’s all going to be quite nebulous, very few hard numbers attached to it. And it’s very clear the Troika’s patience is wearing thin and Greece’s balance sheet is in a very parlous state.”
In the meantime, Greece will receive 2 billion euros from the EU budget – to help ease the humanitarian impact of five years of austerity.