The European Union has given Greece until April 20 to present a list of reforms which, if found acceptable, would unlock the final tranche of aid funds promised under a multi-billion-euro bailout, a German newspaper reported Sunday.
Eurogroup ministers have set the deadline in order to have sufficient time to examine Athens’ proposal ahead of a meeting on April 24, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, quoting unnamed representatives in the negotiations.
Negotiators from Greece and the EU have struggled to make headway over the final payout of 7.2 billion euros as Athens has refused to consider cutting civil servants’ pensions.
Alexis Tsipras’s government, which was elected on an anti-austerity ticket, is reticent about accepting further cuts in public spending.
Rather, it is looking at raising national revenues through improving tax compliance.
On Thursday, the Greek government also began examining a draft bill aimed at rehiring around 4,000 civil servants who were retrenched due to austerity reforms.
In addition, the draft bill envisages the hiring of 6,000 people who passed public service examinations.
Despite the discord between Athens and the EU over Greece’s proposed reforms, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Thursday he was very confident that a deal could be done by April 24.
A government source in Athens also said that phone contacts were made Saturday with Greece’s creditors, and that they were held “in a climate of cooperation” and aimed at defining the agenda for the coming days.