Negotiations over the third bailout since 2010 were only started Tuesday, following a series of delays. As a pre-requisite of the third bailout talks beginning, Greece was forced to pass legislation on tax and pension reform, as well as other issues.
IMF’s Lagarde: ‘Deeds, not creeds’ are what matters in Greece http://t.co/iUrgOAeZIx— IMF (@IMFNews) July 29, 2015
These included "streamlining the VAT system and broadening the tax base to increase revenue" and "up-front measures to improve long-term sustainability of the pension system as part of a comprehensive pension reform program".
Last week, the Greek Government responded to rumors that the creditors — known as the Troika — were to demand even more austerity measures, as part of the bailout settlement. But this was swiftly denied by the Greek finance ministry, which said the pre-negotiation agreement between Greece and its creditors did not call for further legislation, other than those which were passed in the last two weeks.
However, according to a report in the Greek newspaper To Vima, the IMF's negotiator, Delia Velculescu, is demanding Greece pass further legislation as part of the third bailout plan. These are believed to include amendments to existing legislation regarding hiring in the public sector, the 2014-15 tax and debt installment schemes, and state subsidies to the EBZ (sugar industry).
Early Retirement and Roof Tax Clampdown
In moves that will deeply anger the Greek people, the demands also include passing a law immediately scrapping Greece's generous early retirement age and raising the statutory retirement age to 67 years or 62 years with 40 years of work, from 2022, as well as amendments to legislation in order to collect this year's payments of the hated ENFIA property tax.
For decades, Greek houses are left with the top storey covered, but with a roof yet-to-be-added, in order to avoid the so-called roof tax. Hence the number of houses in Greece that have twisted rod reinforcing bars sticking out of the top of them.
The Troika is also said to be calling for a further restructuring of the Athens transport organisation OASA, the stepping up of privatizations, with binding bids for the sale of at least 51 percent for Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports announced no later than the end of October.
The sale of regional airports to the winning bidder Fraport must also be finalized. To Vima also reported that the talks would include restrictions on collective bargaining rights and that by the end of 2015, "there will be new a framework for collective bargaining that will guarantee justice and efficiency in the workplace."