Greece is “finally ready to turn the page” on its financial crisis, EU finance chief Pierre Moscovici said in published remarks before meeting Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The Premier had limited time for Moscovici on Nov. 28 before heading to Cuba to attend an event for deceased former leader Fidel Castro.
Moscovici, in an interview with center-left newspaper Ethnos said an agreement on reforms, budget targets and debt relief is “totally feasible” in “the coming days.” Similar predictions have failed miserably to meet those goals.
Greece is hoping to get some kind of debt relief deal when Eurozone finance ministers meet on Dec. 5 although the Radical Left SYRIZA is dragging its feet on implementing reforms to which it agreed in return for a third bailout, this one for 86 billion euros ($91.05 billion) he said he would never seek nor accept before doing both.
Moscovici, an EU commissioner for economic affairs, told Ethnos he would ask Tsipras to “encourage the government to do what is necessary,” without explaining what that vague remark meant as both sides continue to issue platitudes without specifics.
“The conditions are adequate” to allow the Greek debt burden to be raised at next month’s ministers meeting, Moscovici was quoted as saying without explaining what that meant either.
It will be tough sledding for Tsipras, whose government has put forth another billion euros in tax hikes after promising to cut them. The new levies will hit cars, landline phones, subscription TV, fuel, tobacco, coffee and beer.
Public spending on salaries and pensions will also be cut by 5.7 billion euros ($6 billion) next year although Tsipras said it’s not his fault, continuing his line of blaming previous governments, foreign powers and other unseen forces for Greece’s problems and as he says he opposes the reforms he agreed to impose.