IMF shows Athens carrot and stick for debt relief

According to reports in the Greek press, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is ready to commit to remaining a part of the Greek bailout programme. However, its inclusion in the adjustment programme will depend on certain conditions being met that reportedly concern the Greek government.

Greek Sunday newspaper To Vima on Sunday reported that the IMF will make three tough demands in order to continue in the Greek bailout deal: the abolition of the so-called personal difference that allows existing pensions to remain higher than new pensions issued according to a recently legislated calculation formula; lowering the tax-free threshold and abolishing all tax breaks; increasing the limit of mass layoffs to 10 per cent for large businesses.

It is estimated that the new measures will prove very difficult for the Syriza-ANEL coalition government to push through parliament as it will entail fresh pension cuts, higher taxation while also impacting significantly on labour rights.

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(Photo of IMF headquarters: AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikimedia Commons)