5 Things to Know About Greece’s Proposed Reforms


Greece’s new government has submitted a list of overhauls it will make in exchange for four more months of financing from its international creditors while it negotiates a new bailout program. The European Commission has backed the proposals, but has asked for more details. Here are five things to know:

The List of Reforms Doesn’t Include Any Numbers

The seven page letter, sent by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, describes general principles of the reform program and details some specifics on tax overhauls and government spending policies. But it doesn’t include any estimates about the costs, benefits and economic impact of those commitments. The financial details of the reform program will be hammered out during further consultations with creditors by the end of April.

Greece Wants To Shake Up The Public Sector And Crack Down On Corruption…

From tightening political party financing rules to publicly tendering out media broadcast licenses to making public procurement more transparent, the government wants to sever the deep links between business oligarchs and government. Many Greeks blame the country’s monied elite for leading the country to ruin, but rooting out corruption is never easy and Greece’s oligarchs have proven to be very resilient.

And it Promises Pension And Labor Overhauls. But Not The Ones Creditors Had In Mind

Greece’s creditors would like to see further cuts in retirement benefits to make the pension system viable, and more flexibility in the labor market that makes it easier to hire and fire workers. But the government wants to gradually raise the minimum wage and restore collective bargaining, while it sees pension savings coming mainly from administrative reforms like merging pension funds.

Greece Says It Will Go Ahead With Privatizations, Sort Of

In what is seen as a reversal from its pre-election stance, the Greek government says it will not roll-back any privatizations that have already been completed and will respect those that are currently underway. But further privatizations will be reviewed and decided on a case-by-case basis.

And There’s a Promise to Stick With An Antipoverty Plan

Campaigning on an antiausterity platform, Greece’s government, led by the left-wing Syriza,  promised voters last September free or low cost food, health and electricity for hundreds of thousands of poor households. The government  pledges to uphold that promise but says it will find means to offset the estimated €1.9 billion ($2.15 billion) cost of its program without impact on the budget.