Saturday August 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
'Ball in Greek court,' says Rehn as progress on deal is confirmed

Greece is likely to reach a deal with foreign lenders on its latest bailout review before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Monday to decide on further aid, EU and Greek officials said on Sunday.

Athens has been in talks with inspectors from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund troika for nearly a week to show it can deliver on its pledges after failing to meet public sector reform targets.

Greece hopes eurozone finance ministers will free up its next 8.1 billion-euro ($10.4 billion) tranche of aid when they meet on Monday because it needs part of the money to redeem about 2.2 billion euros of bonds in August.

Bailed out twice by its foreign lenders, Greece relies on foreign aid to keep afloat. Failure to successfully conclude its bailout review could push it close to bankruptcy once again, triggering a new upsurge in the euro zone crisis.

"We made very good progress," Poul Thomsen, head of the International Monetary fund's mission to Greece told reporters on Sunday, adding that he hoped talks would be concluded early on Monday before the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.

Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras also said he was optimistic of a deal on Monday morning. The two sides were due to leave Athens on Sunday, but could remain in touch to nail down final details.

The latest loan installment is one of the last big cash injections that Greece stands to get as part of a 240 billion-euro rescue package that expires at the end of 2014.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told Reuters in France that the negotiations were almost complete, but Athens needed to intensify efforts to deliver on reform commitments.

"The ball is in the Greek court and it depends on whether Greece is able to deliver the remaining elements of the milestones that have been agreed," he said.

He reiterated that aid for Greece could be split into installments. Lenders have become increasingly frustrated with Greece's slow pace of shrinking the civil service and making it more efficient and less corrupt.

Talks with the troika stumbled last week over a missed June deadline to put 12,500 state workers into a mobility scheme, under which they are transferred or laid off within a year, but an agreement was finally reached on Saturday.

"The troika gave Greece an extension of a few months," an official at the administrative reform ministry said on Sunday. "A second wave of another 12,500 staff will be placed in the scheme until the end of the year."

Other issues discussed with the troika included ways to cover a fiscal gap, including a shortfall of more than 1 billion euros at state-run health insurer EOPYY, and a possible reduction in a sales tax for restaurants that Athens had sought as a concession from lenders.

Stournaras said the tax reduction issue remained on the table, adding that Athens managed to avoid further pay and pension cuts for military and police staff. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Sunday Jul 7, 2013 (17:34)  
Libya evacuees set to reach Piraeus on Saturday
Coast guard seeks boost in Aegean
Coalition agrees strategy for target of 5,000 dismissals in public sector
Illegal buildings in crosshairs
Greek PMI drops to nine-month low in July
The return to growth of the manufacturing sector proved short-lived, as the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) dropped to a nine-month low in July to 48.7 points, against 49.4 points in June, a...
Property tax surplus may lead to more installments or cuts
The government is considering an increase in the number of installments allowed for the payment of the new Single Property Ownership Tax (ENFIA) for 2014 and to reduce its size from 2015 if ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
One win and one loss in Europa League
Greece had a hit and a miss in the first-leg games for the third qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, as Atromitos scored a 2-1 win at Sarajevo while Asteras Tripolis lost 1-0 ...
SOCCER
Goalless draw at Liege puts Greens in driving seat
Panathinaikos got the upper hand in the battle for entry to the Champions League playoffs after snatching a goalless draw at Standard Liege on Wednesday. If anything, the Greek cup holders m...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
In trying to conquer, Putin unites Europe
President Vladimir Putin is obliged to feign indifference to the sanctions that the European Union and the United States imposed on Russia this week. But, being the player that he is, he mus...
EDITORIAL
Our own worst enemies
A new study has come to exemplify the cliche notion that Greeks find it easier to excel abroad, where they fare much better than they do at home. According to research by epidemiologist John...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Greek PMI drops to nine-month low in July
2. Property tax surplus may lead to more installments or cuts
3. Athens-Patra in just two hours
4. Plans to tackle Russian crisis
5. Fifth straight day of losses on Greek bourse
6. Libya evacuees set to reach Piraeus on Saturday
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece evacuates embassy staff, foreign nationals from Libya
2. Greek exporters worried about impact of Russia sanctions
3. Greek bond yields dip as investors anticipate ratings upgrade
4. Britons stranded at sea off Zakynthos towed to safety
5. Human rights watchdog criticizes decision to file Farmakonisi case
6. Jean-Claude Juncker to make first official visit to Athens on Monday
Today
This Week
1. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
2. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
3. Worlds largest solar boat on Greek mission
4. What lessons can we draw from antiquity?
5. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
6. Greek coast guard picks up 77 migrants off Myconos
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.