BUSINESS

Hardouvelis meets troika officials ahead of Brussels summit

Troika officials checking on progress of Greece's adjustment program wrapped up their visit to Athens Tuesday meeting with Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis.

Talks, which were attended by alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Mavraganis, focused on Greek progress in meeting the prior actions demanded by the adjustment program.

The conservative-led government has already begun preparing for the troika’s return in September for what is expected to be a long review of Greece’s adjustment program.

According to sources, Hardouvelis has proposed to Greece’s lenders that they split the review in two, concentrating first on fiscal and structural targets before opening a discussion about the size of the country’s funding gap for 2015.

Hardouvelis believes that this will allow the troika to issue a positive report on Greece’s fiscal performance ahead of discussions with the eurozone about further debt relief, while leaving the issue of the fiscal gap to be resolved in October, once the European Central Bank has carried out its stress tests.

Greece is still hoping that it can use a large chunk of the 11 billion euros remaining in its bank rescue fund to cover the 2015 funding gap.

Brussels summit

Hardouvelis was scheduled to attend with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras the special EU Summit in Brussels later on Wednesday. EU leaders will decide who should fill two top EU jobs – foreign policy chief and European Council president.

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