#IMF report revelations for unsustainable #Greekdept leave eurozone countries without arguments against @PrimeministerGR

478990122Euro zone countries tried in vain to stop the IMF publishing a gloomy analysis of Greece’s debt burden which the leftist government says vindicates its call to voters to reject bailout terms, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday to Reuters, as its exclusive report wrote

The Europeans were also concerned, the Reuters exclusive artcle further reveals,  that

the report could distract attention from a view they share with the IMF that the Tsipras government, in the five months since it was elected, has wrecked a fragile economy that was just starting to recover.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” an IMF source involved in the debate over publication said. “We are not living in an ivory tower here. But the EU has to understand that not everything can be decided based on their own imperatives.”

The board had considered all arguments, including the risk that the document would be politicized, but the prevailing view was that

all the evidence and figures should be laid out transparently before the referendum.

“Facts are stubborn. You can’t hide the facts because they may be exploited,” the IMF source said.

The document released in Washington on Thursday said Greece’s public finances will not be sustainable without substantial debt relief, possibly including write-offs by European partners of loans guaranteed by taxpayers.

It also said Greece will need at least 50 billion euros in additional aid over the next three years to keep itself afloat.

Publication of the draft Debt Sustainability Analysis laid bare a dispute between Brussels and the Washington-based global lender that has been simmering behind closed doors for months.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cited the report in a televised appeal to voters on Friday to say ‘No’ to the proposed austerity terms, which have anyway expired since talks broke down and Athens defaulted on an IMF loan this week.

It was not clear whether an arcane IMF document would influence a cliffhanger poll in which Greece’s future in the euro zone is at stake with banks closed, cash withdrawals rationed and commerce seizing up.

“Yesterday an event of major political importance happened,” Tsipras said. “The IMF published a report on Greece’s economy which is a great vindication for the Greek government as it confirms the obvious – that Greek debt is not sustainable.”

At a meeting on the International Monetary Fund’s board on Wednesday, European members questioned the timing of the report which IMF management proposed at short notice releasing three days before Sunday’s crucial referendum that may determine the country’s future in the euro zone, the sources said.

There was no vote but the Europeans were heavily outnumbered and the United States, the strongest voice in the IMF, was in favor of publication, the sources said.

In Brussels, the way the IMF communicated the findings was seen as confusing, misleading and politically unhelpful.

The European Commission had produced its own debt sustainability analysis, based partially on IMF data, which is less pessimistic in its scenarios and is one of the documents mentioned on the Greek referendum ballot paper.

Diplomats said the IMF’s publication of the study was a way of making clear it would only be part of any future loan pact with Greece if the Europeans included debt relief in the mix.

Germany and its north European allies have said the IMF’s presence is indispensable both to win parliamentary backing for aid for any euro zone partner, and to keep the European institutions honest. Berlin suspects the European Commission of being too soft on Greek efforts to wriggle out of reforms of pensions, taxation, public sector wages and labor law.

The European Central Bank, ( which has made Banks close in Greece as soon as the referendum was announced , we note)  the third partner in what used to be called the “troika” of bailout enforcers, is also keen to keep the IMF involved, the Reuters article writes.

imagesFor the How, When and Why the IMF draft document was exposed to public opinion and had to be revealed go to our Greek2m eye story

For the Reuters’ exclusive story click here

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The counties are not companies, said in Rome the President of Greek Parliament

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Politics is one thing and companies is another, the President of the Greek Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou said during the Conference of Presidents of Parliaments of the Member States and the European Parliament, which takes place in Rome.

“There must be a clear message to all those who negotiate that the countries are not companies, the European Union is not a company to sign agreements and treaties concerning countries or the European Union as a company,” Konstantopoulou noted adding that this a questionable strategy which at the end of the day poses problems to the citizens and creates difficult living conditions as is the situation with countries that have signed memorandums.

“Therefore, we have to understand that these negotiations should not continue to be as secret as they are,” the President of the Greek Parliament said noting the need for a more democratic process.

by enikos.gr

That’s how the Index of Despair was created in Greece. Such a lack of interest for tax transparency, by Samaras’ government, said Switzerland

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German newspaper Die Welt recently accused Greece, -but mainly the ex Greek government this time-, of not acting on opportunities to recover billions in lost tax, “The Greek government has done nothing for a year to recover supposedly untaxed assets of Greek citizens in Switzerland. There is an invitation extending from 2014 by the Swiss Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) to track the money and transfer it to Athens,”

 The Swiss authorities expressed their wonder, Greek government sources have said, for the lack of interest of the previous government for the revised double taxation agreement between Switzerland and Greece that has been in place since 2012,
as only fifteen requests had been received for the transfer of tax-related data.
Greece’s new government has committed to fighting tax evasion and corruption in a bid to raise funds for the state and to spread the burden of the crisis, which is currently falling disproportionately on the poor as wages and pensions have been cut, and taxes on lower incomes raised much more than those on higher incomes .

Between 2008 and 2012, taxation in Greece, which made a 72.4 percent contribution to fiscal adjustments, was increased by 337.7% for lower income households, compared to just 9% for higher income groups, according to the publication of  a recent study GREECE: SOLIDARITY AND ADJUSTMENT IN TIMES OF CRISIS, supported by the Macroeconomic Policy of Institute of the Hans-Boeckler-Foundation

The study, that created an “Index of despair” claims that a “deficient crisis management approach and ideological inflexibility coupled to established political interests” made “the exit from the crisis more complicated and painful.”
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On 19 March, the EU and Switzerland concluded a new tax agreement which aims to increase tax transparency by guaranteeing an automatic annual exchange of data between Switzerland, and all of the EU member states. It will come into force on 1 January 2017. Leading up to this date, Switzerland is keen to work with Greece to prevent capital outflows to other uncooperative financial centres.
On 26 March Swiss State Secretary Jacques de Watteville met with Greek Minister of State Nikos Pappas to resume discussions between the two countries with a view to increasing cooperation to combat tax crime. It was agreed that transmission mechanisms needed to be strengthened, whilst the main theme of discussion was the preparation of the planned automatic exchange of information from 2017/2018 in the framework of a new EU agreement with Switzerland agreed just last week.

Who was bribed by Germany in Greece? Greek Foreign Minister asks for key persons and evidences to be brought to Justice

NA-AO921_SIEMEN_20071227202444Greek Foreign Minister to Germany: Give us the bribery protocols

Kotzias- Foreign Minister: “In Greece we have major corruption scandals. Perpetrators of these scandals, of Greek identity continuee to live in Germany free.  The German justice should finally give us the protocols of testimonies in order to have the evidence about who was bribed in Greece. Germany cannot argue with pseudo-ethical exhortations and on the same time keep these people that have caused such scandals, like Mr. Christoforakos of Siemens, safely to be located in Germany. This should be stopped. The German justice must notify us of their deposits. We are a government who fights corruption, and also the wealth obtained by corruption methods. Germany should stop hiding such swindler. “

Key person of Siemens scandals in Germany commits suicide in perfect timing

Before his election  Alexis Tsipras had warned the German justice that the Siemens scandal should be brought before the courts by his government . And , voila, what a coincidence: The key person for the revelation of the scandal, Heinz-Joachim Neuburger, former chief financial officer of Siemens,”commited suicide” some days after the new governmenet’s election in Greece, a suicide shrouded in mystery, as the international press mentioned.The German press, for the most part has said that he was found dead at his home without clarifying how the suicide took place. Those close to Neuburger are puzzled by the suicide because he had recently settled a lawsuit filed against him by the company on bribery charges. He had been found guilty of paying bribes to procure contracts in foreign countries, including Greece. Despite charges, Neuburger insisted on his innocence until the end.  He contested that he had failed to combat corruption in the company. For this reason, he was the last of nine former executives to reach a settlement that called him to pay 2.5 million euros (less than what Siemens owed him in pension payments and other compensations). The settlement had been approved at a January 27 annual meeting.

Keeping its promises Greek governement of Alexis Tsipras sends  64 suspects to trial for SIEMENS/OTE €70m bribes scandal; among them 13 Germans

Ten years after the discovery of the scandal and judges have finally took the decision to refer 64 suspects to stand trial over bribes paid by German giant SIEMENS to secure a public contract. Among the 64 suspects are 13 German nationals, executives of the parent company. According to the judges decision SIEMENS has allegedly paid bribes of estimated €70 million to secure a contract and digitize the network of then Greek Public Telecommunications System OTE. The contract “Convention 8002″ was signed in 1997. Among the suspects is also the former powerful man of SIEMENS HELLAS Michalis Christoforakos, who escaped to Germany and authorities there refused to extradite him to Greece’s previous requests. The 13 German names mentioned refer to former executives of the parent company and former executives of OTE. The charges refer to “money laundering”, “active and passive bribery” and “accomplishment to such actions.” Theodoros Tsoukatos, the former consultant of former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, is also on the suspects’ list. “Tsoukatos appears to have distributed 1 million Deustche Mark and has maintained that the funds ended up in PASOK’s accounts.”* Others suspects  include top officers of the Siemens’ Greek subsidiary, as well as German nationals who are said to have approved payments and bribes to Greece. In their decision, the judges acquit 80 people of the charges. In November 2014, the Financial prosecutor had sent his 2,368-page report to a council of judges to make the final decision on whether the suspects should stand trial over the so-called Contract 8002, for Siemens to digitize OTE telecom’s network.

The suspects are said to include 19 Siemens and 14 OTE telecom executives.

It is alleged that nearly 70 million euros in bribes were paid to secure the deal. The only Greek politician who has been convicted in connection with the scandal is ex-Transport Minister Tasos Mantelis, who was given a three-year suspended prison sentence in 2011 after being found to have accepted payments of 450,000 Deutsche Marks (230,000 euros) from Siemens between 1998 and 2000.

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