Wednesday April 16, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Troika returns, with lots on agenda

Dutch Finance Minister and Chairman of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem (l) talks with Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, before the start of the Eurogroup meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, on Monday.

European officials meeting in Brussels on Monday hailed Greece’s progress in economic reforms but emphasized that more remains to be done to secure the release of continued rescue funding which is to be the key focus when talks with troika officials resume on Tuesday.

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Djisselbloem confirmed Monday that troika envoys would fly back to Athens Tuesday, following confusion over the weekend about the timing of their return, and said Greece had been “working constructively with the troika” but that “further progress is still needed.”

Addressing a press conference after a summit of eurozone finance ministers, Djisselbloem said he hoped the preconditions would be fulfilled for the release of the next tranche of rescue funding to Greece, a sum of 1 billion euros, but said it would be “very, very hard if not impossible” for the troika’s review to be finalized by the end of the month.

Earlier German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble struck a similar tone, noting that Greece was “on a good track overall” but that “many issues remained open” with the troika. Arriving at the summit, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras insisted that Greece has “done a lot” and was “looking forward to the completion of the review.”

Talks between the troika and Greek government officials are to resume Tuesday with two key goals: firstly to reach an agreement on the fate of state defense firm EAS, which must be finalized before the creditors can sign off on further rescue aid; and secondly to discuss two politically sensitive issues on which Athens has threatened to act unilaterally – restrictions on home foreclosures and the value-added tax on restaurants and other food services. As regards EAS, Athens has made a proposal to radically downsize the firm for a trial period of a year while continuing with exports. The government is also seeking a gradual lifting of restrictions on foreclosures – rather than revocation of the ban – and wants to extend the enforcement of VAT on restaurants at the lower rate of 13 percent, which was introduced in the summer as a trial.

The troika is keen to lift the foreclosures ban to inject liquidity into the housing market and is reluctant to allow Greece to continue with a 13 percent VAT on restaurants, claiming the measure failed to yield the anticipated revenue.

An internal troika e-mail – sent from the International Monetary Fund to the European Commission and European Central Bank and revealed by Kathimerini – suggests Greece has made very little progress in reforms. , Monday December 9, 2013 (20:44)  
PASOK plays down coalition row over scheme for homeless
Greece´s new public sector wage structure ready in September
Release for 2 more guards detained after Kareli´s death
UNHCR urges Athens to rethink migrant detention periods
IBM to open new center in Athens for big data analytics
International technology giant IBM is moving ahead with the creation of a new corporate data analysis center in Greece, aimed at providing solutions and strengthening the competitiveness of ...
Benefits to all single-parent families and new unemployed
As of Thursday, those hardest hit by the financial crisis will be able to submit applications for collecting their share of the social dividend – i.e. the government handouts stemming from t...
Inside Business
Defense lets Olympiakos down at Madrid
Olympiakos played second fiddle to Real Madrid in a rather spectacular game in Spain on Tuesday going down 88-71 to trail 1-0 in the best-of-five quarterfinal series with the Spanish giant. ...
Apollon is relegated, Xanthi to face survival play-off
Apollon followed Aris to the second division and Xanthi will contest a relegation play-off, as the end of the regular season of the Super League on Sunday produced predictable results that a...
Inside Sports
Fundamental contradictions
The deep division running through the ranks of the country’s main opposition party regarding the euro and how Greece’s negotiations with its partners and creditors ought to be carried out is...
Empty vessels
US satirist and journalist Patrick Jake O’Rourke once said about American politics, “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” ...
Inside Comment
1. Defense lets Olympiakos down at Madrid
2. IBM to open new center in Athens for big data analytics
3. Benefits to all single-parent families and new unemployed
4. Supermarket chains sense worst is yet to come
5. Cost of borrowing via T-bills drops to pre-bailout levels
6. Eurobank reaps major investor interest
more news
This Week
1. Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists
2. GD lawmaker hails Hitler, condemns homosexuality in interview
3. Suspected smuggler dies after trying to ram Coast Guard vessel off Kos
4. New Democracy to confirm list of candidates for Euro elections
5. Anchor investors bid for chunk of Greek Eurobank's share offer
6. Greek far right fires up Athens election campaign
This Week
1. Bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece
2. Time to take a hard look at debt sustainability, says OECD chief
3. For faith and country
4. CCTV footage from Nigrita Prison shows signs of inmate torture [Video]
5. Samaras sees no need for third bailout
6. Car bomb explodes outside Greek Central Bank building, no one hurt [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.