Greek bailout talks continue as Athens, IMF squabble

Negotiations broke down late Wednesday, but continue on Thursday in compromise effort

Greek bailout talks continue as Athens, IMF squabble

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Brussels talks between Greece and its creditors broke down late Wednesday, as the International Monetary Fund and Athens squabbled over key points.

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said after the meeting that progress had been made, adding that informal negotiations were ongoing and would continue right through a European Union leaders’ summit Thursday.

Greece had submitted a compromise plan ahead of the meeting. A version of that plan was leaked to the media, which reportedly included changes in red ink made by the IMF to key points in the proposal. Anadolu Agency has obtained a copy.

The document reveals that the IMF is unwilling to accept the Greek plan which relies heavily on tax increases. On most key points, the Greek government has accepted creditor proposals, even in fraught areas like pension reform and value-added tax.

Although the Greek plan would save $8 billion, the IMF proposed increased cuts in pensions, higher increases to value-added tax, plus less reliance on tax increases and public-sector spending.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told French magazine Challenges ahead of the talks Wednesday: "You can't build a program just on the promise of improved tax collection, as we have heard for the past five years, with little result."

A key sticking point is also debt relief. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has made an eventual restructuring of the country's $240-billion debt part of his proposals. Germany is not willing to accept any form of debt restructuring at this point in the talks.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Haziran 2015, 11:33