Merry Christmas Mr Papademos!
First and foremost – No new taxes!
Note to readers: this site will not specialize in Greek debt issues – we are all about advancing reform here. That’s why it is essential that you read the IMF survey article which includes a link to the IMF Report dated December 13th, entitled: Fifth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement, Rephasing and Request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria; Press Release on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the Executive Director for Greece.
For most purposes, the IMF Survey article is adequate, but you can go further and review the entire documentation stream that supported the release of the IMF’s share of the sixth tranche of the Troika bailout package. It makes quite sobering reading.
Here are a few relevant quotes from Poul Thomsen, IMF Mission Chief for Greece:
“Structural reforms have not yet delivered expected results, in part because agreed reforms are not being implemented. For instance, two flagship reforms—on collective bargaining and liberalizing restricted professions—have yet to deliver substantial results.”
“Progress has been made on many fronts but there is still a long way to go. Greece is still far away from the critical mass of reforms needed to transform the investment climate,”
Finally, Thomsen also noted in the press conference on the report’s release that delays in reform implementation are one crucial reason why investor sentiment has not recovered as expected under the program, and thus why the economy was weaker than expected.