This week, the Eurozone finance minister jointly approved Greece’s proposed plan to ease the difficult conditions imposed upon it by the international bailout it had been given, extending the loan’s deadline by an additional four months.
As part of the extension deal, Greece must now figure out what policies and terms they will present to the Eurogroup. It must come up with an outline and forecast of how they will increase government revenue. The plan they present must be practical, yet convincing enough to the ministers charged with approving it.
One of the main elements of the expected Greek plan is a 7.3 billion Euro tax collection from the country’s wealthiest individuals, the German magazine Bild reported, citing sources inside Greece’s Syriza government. In addition, Greece will tap into a similar sum by collecting outstanding back taxes from businesses and “regular” individuals.
About 2.3 billion Euros in cash is also expected to come from a planned crackdown on Greece’s thriving and heretofore little-encumbered black market for smuggled gas and cigarettes. Whether the Greek authorities will actually be able to reap all this money from these sources is yet to be seen.
Making things even a bit more complicated for the new Greek government is the fact that, aside from the Eurozone ministers, the plan must also be approved by the International Monetary Fund and individual countries of the European Union itself afterwards, all by the end of March 2015. Both groups have been, up until now, less forgiving than the Eurogroup.