European creditors published an initial post-program report in November, stating there were “delays in the sixteen specific reform commitments due for end-2018.” These delays included arrears clearance, privatizations and the roll out of the primary health-care system.
Tsakalotos told CNBC Wednesday that the measures that still needed to be legislated are “leftovers” from Greece’s third bailout program, which ended six months ago.
The major issue, he said, is the protection of primary residences. This is a policy that was implemented during the euro zone debt crisis that suspended the seizure of primary homes for those who couldn’t repay their mortgages.
“Now we’re moving into a new system where people will be given support to be able to pay back their loans. So that’s good for the people that will turn loans that are not being paid into loans that are green loans (not potential defaults) … But it will also help the banks to clear up their non-performing loans.”
Athens doesn’t need fresh cash to stay afloat in the short term. Before ending its third bailout program in August, it received a cash buffer of about 25 billion euros ($28.3 billion) — which means that Greece wouldn’t necessarily need to tap the bond markets in the coming year unless it thinks there are favorable conditions to do so.
Getting the next set of funds is more than a question of money, it’s a question of credibility, Tsakalotos said.
“We don’t see it as only as an issue of whether we need the money. We see it as an issue that covers both the creditors and the institutions. We are confident that Greece is continuing on a reform strategy. So, it’s a signaling thing more than with the money thing.”