The Eurozone Ministers of Finance approved the revise list of reform proposals submitted by Greece, in the Tuesday afternoon Eurogroup teleconference, thus completing Friday’s agreement. The next step will be for the national parliaments to approve.
According to the list of reform proposals sent by Mr. Varoufakis, the government’s main priorities are:
•To overhaul the VAT, combat smuggling of tobacco and fuel in order to collect taxes,
•Continue the fiscal consolidation by carrying out inspections and cuts of non-wage expenses in the public sector,
•Review privatizations without affecting or overturning any completed ones and to
•Address the humanitarian crisis
Additionally the government will take a number of initiatives in order to dissuade civil servants from taking early retirements, as well as associate the payment of insurance contributions with pensions.
Contrary to the government’s proclamations, the agreement does not include any references to the replacement of the controversial “ENFIA” real estate tax with another real estate tax on large property, nor are there any references to increasing the tax-free threshold.
The government has also agreed to carry out the increase of the minimum wage in consultation with the EU, ECB and IMF. The intention is to streamline wages in the public sector, while protecting those on lower wages, as well as inspecting expenses in all State sectors.
Mr. Varoufakis concluded his list with the explicit declaration that the plan is to tackle the humanitarian crisis, without a negative financial impact.