BRUSSELS Dec 15 Greek plans for a Christmas
bonus for pensioners and value added tax measures raise
significant concerns regarding the country's bailout commitments
to euro zone lenders, according to a preliminary assessment by
euro zone institutions on Thursday.
Greece's parliament on Thursday approved by majority a
proposal by the leftist-led government to pay pensioners a
one-off benefit which has placed it at odds with lenders who
have extended a credit lifeline to the country.
Lenders announced on Wednesday they were suspending an
agreement clinched earlier this month to offer Greece short-term
debt relief after the initial announcement of the plans last
week by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
An assessment of the economic impact of the announced
measures was carried out by the European Commission, the
European Central Bank, the euro zone bailout fund ESM and the
International Monetary Fund -- called the institutions.
"According to a preliminary assessment by the institutions,
that was distributed to the ESM members today, the proposed
measures by the Greek government raise significant concerns on
both process and substance as regards MoU commitments,
especially regarding pensions," an ESM spokesman said.
"While those measures reduce the safety margin around the
2016 fiscal target, they are not expected to change
significantly the projected fiscal outcomes in 2017 and 2018,
although they raise risks regarding the targets, should the
measures be extended in the future," the spokesman said.
Euro zone governments, which own the ESM bailout fund, will
now have to decide whether to proceed with the short-term debt
measures agreed on December 5 that would reduce its public debt
by 20 percentage points of GDP by 2060.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski)