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Greece bailout: Government unveils reform summary after press leaks


GREECE has unveiled an outline summary of reforms demanded by eurozone leaders in order to secure a bailout extension.

The measures include plans to combat tax evasion and tackling fuel and tobacco smuggling.

Government officials said they were releasing the summary before formally submitting it to guard against leaks to the press.

The list must be approved by international creditors on Tuesday to secure a four-month loan extension.

Greece had previously delayed presenting the reforms by 24 hours after initially agreeing to deliver its proposals to creditors on Monday.

Analysts say the deal’s collapse would revive fears Greece will exit the euro.

The summary released on Monday evening contains measures that had been widely anticipated.

It outlined proposals to trim the civil service and combat corruption.

In addition, it included a commitment to address what Syriza has called Greece’s “humanitarian crisis”.

The far-left party has vowed to spend nearly 60m euros (£44m) on free electricity for the poor and more than 750m euros on a program of meal subsidies.

Such policies are aimed at fulfilling pre-election pledges to help those hit by years of economic crisis.

The main points of the summary of the proposals include:

Creating a fairer tax system

Combating tax evasion

Tackling corruption

Targeting fuel and tobacco smugglers

Implementing labour reforms on collective contracts and bargaining agreements.

Tackling Greece’s “humanitarian crisis” with housing guarantees and free medical care for the uninsured unemployed.

Greece’s creditors – the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund – are expected to deliver their verdict on the proposals later on Tuesday, before the reforms are discussed in a conference call with eurozone finance ministers.

Greece hasn’t disclosed why the infamous list was delayed but insists it will arrive in Brussels on Tuesday. Drafts leaked to the Greek media suggest proposals broadly fall into three categories: tackling tax evasion, structural reforms and social measures that help the poor with healthcare or electricity bills and prevent those in debt from losing their homes.

It’s not clear which will make the final list or whether the reforms will be accepted by Greece’s creditors. If there’s a fundamental disagreement, the deal to extend Greece’s loan could collapse.

The government is likely to be forced into U-turns on some promises made before the election, such as raising the minimum wage or rehiring public sector workers.

The hard left of the governing party is opposed. But the majority of Syriza’s supporters appear to be behind it, relieved at least that Athens is proposing reforms for the first time rather than being handed a fait accompli by its creditors.

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