New IMF Measures for Greek Bailout Program Spark Criticism

Proto Thema reports that the summit meeting between the IMF and the Greek government that took place on February 6 was inconclusive regarding the Greek’s bailout program. Alexis Tsipras’ government was required to close the 2nd review of the Greek debt within a tighter time schedule, but complications arose when the IMF asked for additional fiscal measures and a 3.5% primary surplus, without specifying whether the organization will participate in the new program. According to Reuters, “Greece needs to reduce the proportion of its budget spent on ‘unaffordably high’ pensions,” while also broadening its tax base.  

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters that the bailout review would be completed positively, but stated that Greece will not accept any “illogical” measures. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, also criticized the IMF’s report According to Proto Thema, he argued that Greece is in a much better state than that presented in the IMF’s evaluation, and characterised the Greek bailout program as “outdated.” He also expressed his astonishment at the harshness of the new measures. Gianni Pittella, President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament was of the same opinion, holding that  the measures the IMF imposes on Greece are unacceptable, and could hinder the country’s stability and economic prospects. Finally, Kathimerini reports that Giannis Stournaras, the Governor of the Bank of Greece voiced his disagreement to the measures the IMF proposed, stating that the Fund is too pessimistic, and has not taken into consideration the progress that has been made.

  The Greek bailout program is still an ongoing issue. It remains to be seen whether a compromise will be found between the Greek government and its creditors on future measures.