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Greece says adopting new credit measures for EU, IMF

Greece’s Prime minister Alexis Tsipras attends a round table session during the informal EU summit at the Bratislava Castle in the Slovak capital on September 16, 2016 © AFP / Vladimir Simicek

Athens, Greece, Sep 17 – Cash-strapped Greece will adopt before month’s end a new package of measures designed to mollify EU and IMF creditors, Athens’ finance ministry said Friday.

The ministry said a government bill to be drawn up next week would identify 15 reforms including better transparency for electronic transactions as well as new means of restructuring company debt.

Greece’s creditors this week resumed an audit of the country’s finances after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said an EU-IMF rift was delaying progress on attempts to unlock 2.8 billion euros ($3 billion) of bailout loans pending since June.

Tspiras has made debt solution a top priority and Friday saw a first round of discussions with the European Union and International Monetary Fund on how to do so.

Last Sunday, he complained that disagreement over Greek fiscal targets was holding up progress.

The EU’s Economic Affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici says Greece must deliver on 15 reforms, with only two achieved so far.

The Washington-based IMF, a key player in Greece’s three bailouts, says it will refuse to contribute to the latest one until it sees a concrete plan from the Europeans to substantially cut the country’s massive debt burden.

IMF and EU creditors disagree on how much Athens can improve its stressed finances through ongoing reforms.

(L-R) Greece’s Prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Portugal’s Prime minister Antonio Costa and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel chat on the way to the family picture for the informal EU summit in the Slovak capital on September 16, 2016 © AFP / Joe Klamar

The Greek finance ministry said an evaluation of proposed further reforms would be discussed next month at a meeting of EU finance ministers.

Greek Economy Minister Georges Stathakis said Thursday that “the climate is positive” and added outstanding “technicalities” would be soon overcome, including on the thorny issue of who heads up a new Greek privatisation fund.

A French finance ministry source indicated last week that Jacques Le Pape, formerly deputy director of cabinet for IMF director Christine Lagarde when she was French finance minister, could take on the task.

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But Athens has not confirmed this and Greek media have reported disagreement between the creditors and government on appointments to the fund’s supervisory council.

Creditors will get to choose the president and his deputy, with Athens nominating three further positions.

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