Greek reform plans 'far from complete' says Dijsselbloem

9th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said a list of reforms proposed by Greece last week in return for further financial aid was "far from complete".

"It's far from complete. The Greeks know this," Dijsselbloem told a panel discussion Sunday in Amsterdam, organised by the centre-left daily Volkskrant.

Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch finance minister, was commenting on a letter received from his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis on Friday.

The letter outlines a number of major reforms to convince creditors to unlock the next tranche of much-needed bailout money and comes ahead of a Eurogroup meeting on Monday where the issue is expected to dominate the agenda.

"Those six that's a first six, they absolutely will not be accepted as the 30 percent that they (Greece) want to replace," Dijsselbloem said referring to the percentage of change Greece wants made to the current financial package.

The proposal is "serious" Dijsselbloem said but he added: "We don't accept everything in the Eurogroup."

Agreeing on the reforms is "a difficult process that's going to take a long time," Dijsselbloem added.

The proposed measures include plans to streamline bureaucracy, raise revenue from online gambling and, in a suggestion that drew scorn on social media, a plan to hire amateur tax sleuths -- such as tourists -- to help clamp down on tax avoidance.

Varoufakis told reporters on Saturday he was "optimistic" about Monday's talks.

Greece's new hard-left government has until April to present reform proposals to its EU-IMF creditors.

Athens is scrambling to find cash to address a daunting repayment schedule, with over 6.0 billion euros ($6.8 billion) falling due this month.


© 2015 AFP

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