By N. Bellos and T. Tsiros
A European Commission report this week on the course of member-states' economic performance is deemed as crucial in gauging the "fiscal space" that Greece will have in 2019 not to implement a pre-legislated pension cut set for Jan. 1, 2019.
The issue, while not on the Eurogroup's agenda during a meeting on Monday, was nevertheless broached, with EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici saying that the Commission will evaluate the fiscal margins that exist today. He added that Athens must persuade its Eurozone partners over the measures envisioned in the 2019 budget - a reference to countervailing measures.
Moreover, he reiterated that EZ partners want to make sure, before they decide on Athens' request, that a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP will be achieved in 2019.
The Commission will release its report on Thursday for the coming two years.
A top Eurozone official this week said discussions over the issue of suspending the austerity measure are being held in a "positive climate", and that a decision will be taken in November.