Government say no new measures as Schaeuble reportedly prepares for life without the IMF

Reports in the German press, Wednesday, indicate  that Wolfgang Schaeuble is preparing for a continuation of aid for Greece without the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF),  which is likely –  in the light of his recent comments – to include new austerity measures.
Greek State Minister and government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in an interview with Kontra Channel, that the government will not accept the legislation of new measures and that it aims for a  decision during the January 26 Eurogroup that will pave the way for the conclusion of the programme review as soon as possible. A key date is the meeting of the ECB Board, on 9 March that could allow greece in the QE programme.
Tzanakopoulos underlined that the government is not to blame for the delay of the programme review as it complies with the agreements and met its targets.
Talks between Athens and foreign lenders on its bailout progress have dragged on for months mainly due to differences between the IMF and Europe on fiscal targets and debt relief measures.  The IMF has said it will only be involved if it there is substantial debt relief for Greece, otherwise an additional 4.5 billion euro measures will be required to bring the Greek economy on track with the 3.5 % primary surplus targets required by the institutions.  Berlin is against granting Athens any debt relief.
On Monday, Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou told public television channel ERT  that the government will not impose new taxes and will not lower the income tax threshold until 2018, adding that the latter is a red line for the government in its negotiations with the institutions.
“Whatever we voted, it’s been voted,” she said, adding that if the government meets its fiscal targets and reduces tax evasion with the use of credit/debit cards it may even reduce indirect taxes in the future. Papanatsiou also estimated that public revenues in 2016 have exceeded targets by three per cent.
Asked about Greece’s talks with its creditors, the minister said the program review will conclude soon as the government has completed 95 per cent of the prior actions required.
SigmaLive, Reuters