Finance Minister holds final preparatory talks before Paris meet with troika

With just a few days to go before crucial talks in Paris with the troika, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis launched a series of meetings with key cabinet colleagues on Friday in a bid to hammer out the details of the Greek delegation's negotiating positions.

Hardouvelis was to have successive meetings with Labor and Social Insurance Minister Yiannis Vroutsis and Development Minister Nikos Dendias, among others, to discuss topics Greek officials are set to examine with the troika in next week's talks including the second phase of pension reform and labor flexibility in the private sector as well as the problem of non-performing loans held by Greek banks.

The issue of the loans is to be the focus of a discussion between Dendias and PASOK MPs on Friday.

Ahead of the troika talks, during which the Greek delegation also intends to broach the issue of potential debt relief, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been engaged in a flurry of diplomacy both with European officials. He is expected to press the Greek case at an EU leaders' summit starting on Saturday in Brussels where he is expected to meet with incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker among others.