Saturday

20th Aug 2022

Greece readies fresh round of austerity worth €25bn

The Greek government is readying a raft of fresh austerity measures aiming to raise some €25 billion over the next four years.

According to Greek daily Kathemerini, the measures will focus on tax hikes rather than cuts to social services this time, with an increase in road tax, the extension of excise duties to non-alcoholic beverages and a boost in the VAT rate from 13 percent to 23 percent on certain items.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The fresh measures will include increased taxes on consumption (Photo: John D. Carnessiotis, Athens, Greece)

A number of public bodies will be closed down and a restructuring of wage frameworks in the civil service will be ramped up.

However, public sector wages and pensions will see no further reductions.

A detailed announcement is expected sometime before 15 April. The additional austerity measures aim to bring the country's deficit to below three percent of GDP, as required under the terms of a €110 EU-IMF bail-out.

The move comes atop a separate round of privatisations of state assets including real estate that the government hopes will raise €50 billion in new money.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has rubbished claims that his organisation backs a restructuring of Greek debt.

Over the weekend, Der Spiegel reported that the international lender was pushing Athens to accept some form of restructuring, with the scale of its debt pile increasingly viewed as unmanageable despite the EU-IMF bail-out.

"We are supporting the Greek government in its position that it doesn't want a restructuring of the debt," he said at an event in Washington, agencies report.

Representatives of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank arrived in the Greek capital on Monday for the latest check-up on the state of the country's efforts to meet budget targets.

Separately on Monday, Portugal saw the yield on its five-year bonds climb to 9.91 percent, a rate above that experienced by Ireland ahead of its bail-out last November.

Conditions met for German nuclear extension, officials say

Conditions have been met for the German government to allow a temporary lifetime extension of three remaining nuclear reactors, according to the Wall Street Journal, as the country is facing a likely shortage of gas this winter.

News in Brief

  1. China joins Russian military exercises in Vostok
  2. Ukraine nuclear plant damage would be 'suicide', says UN chief
  3. Denmark to invest €5.5bn in new warships
  4. German economy stagnates, finance ministry says
  5. Syria received stolen grain, says Ukraine envoy
  6. Truss still leads in next UK PM polling
  7. UN chief meets Zelensky and Erdogan over grain exports
  8. Fighting stalls ahead of UN visit, Ukraine says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. European inflation hits 25-year high, driven by energy spike
  2. No breakthrough in EU-hosted Kosovo/Serbia talks
  3. Letter to the Editor: Rosatom responds on Zaporizhzhia
  4. Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?
  5. Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting
  6. How scary is threat to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
  7. Slovakia's government stares into the abyss
  8. Finland restricts Russian tourist visas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us