16:13 GMT26 February 2021
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    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Wednesday called European Council President Donald Tusk to demand an urgent summit amid further failures to agree to a new tranche of funding for Athens as part of its third bailout agreement.

    Tusk immediately summoned all the Eurozone finance ministers to an emergency meeting, telling reporters:

    "We have to avoid a situation of renewed uncertainty for Greece. We need a date for a Eurogroup meeting in the not distant future. In days, not weeks."

    Tsipras had asked Tusk to call a meeting of all the EU leaders, but Tusk rebuffed his suggestion.

    Eurozone finance ministers were due to meet on April 28 to discuss the Greek reforms needed to unlock the next tranche of money under the bailout deal, but the meeting was called off because of what sources said was a lack of agreement between Athens and its creditors.

    Sources told the ANA-MPA press agency that "huge discrepancies" between the institutions and Greece on debt is another reason why the Eurogroup will not take place on April 28 as planned.

    Negotiations over the third bailout since 2010 have been hit by 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. 

    The latest stumbling block is over contingent measures to go with austerity measures worth 3 percent of GDP. Greece's creditors are demanding Athens guarantees an extra US$4 billion in savings that could be needed in the future will be implemented if deemed necessary.

    Bailout Package

    The third bailout austerity measures have proved deeply unpopular in Greece, with many demonstrations and rising street crime. The reforms 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."

    People make their way next to the headquarters of Bank of Greece in central Athens, Greece, October 30, 2015
    © REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis
    The demands 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 and 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 story 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 organization OASA, the stepping up of privatizations, with binding bids for the sale of at least 51 percent of Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports announced. The sale of regional airports to the winning bidder Fraport must also be finalized.

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    Tags:
    austerity measures, bailout package, Greek debt crisis, Greek economy, bailout program, reforms, economy, Troika, European Union, Alexis Tsipras, Greece
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