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IMF approves release of 1.72 bln-euro loan tranche, to be disbursed Wed.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said in an interview in a Sunday newspaper that negotiations with the troika in September will not be easy.
He clarified that “it will probably be the last difficult negotiation” before the fiscal programme ends, considering that the government efforts gave results for the period 2013-2014 and the country's creditors were convinced that there is no fiscal gap but discussion is still open for 2015 and 2016.
Stournaras said that the new Medium-term Fiscal Strategy currently prepared by the government should not show a fiscal gap because “it will have to be covered through the restructuring of the public sector” focusing on public-run companies, organizations and ministries and “not through additional tough fiscal measures”.
He said that companies that are not viable should be made viable through privatizations, mergers and downsizing.
Stournaras underlined that the government has taken measures against tax evasion, noting that confiscations made so far correspond to over 2 billion euros.
Referring to the VAT reduction in the restaurant and catering sector to 13 pct, the finance minister warned that it will be raised again to 23 pct if the measure brings no results.
On the real estate property tax, he said that it had to be sent to taxpayers last year blaming the previous governments for the delay.
Stournaras underlined that “the Greeks owe nothing to the German taxpayers. They pay the loan with interest. It costs nothing to the German people”.
Referring to his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble, he said that his opinion about Greece has changed and this has become obvious in Germany's stance
Source: Athens News Agency