Saturday August 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece looks for nod from Eurogroup after passing 2013 budget

Greece received encouragement from Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, which Athens hopes will result in a clear political commitment to back the government’s efforts and release the next tranche of bailout funding soon.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras headed to the meeting having assured Parliament ahead of the vote on the 2013 national budget on Sunday night that Greece would receive the 31.5 billion euros it was initially expected to get during the summer.

The budget passed relatively easily through Parliament after almost three days of at times intense debate. It received the support of 167 out of 300 deputies but there were further losses for the government.

New Democracy's Theodoros Soldatos was ousted for the party for voting against some aspects of the bill. This left the conservatives with 125 seats.

All of PASOK’s 26 MPs supported the budget. But junior coalition partner Democratic Left saw three of its 16 lawmakers fail to back the economic plan. It is not clear if they will be ousted from the leftist party.

The European Commission said the passing of the Greek budget through Parliament on Sunday night was an «important step towards the disbursement of the next tranche to Greece».

Juncker, meanwhile, indicated that a troika report on Greece’s program had been completed and would make positive reading.

The Luxembourg prime minister received the report on Sunday night and, according to AFP, said it «is positive in its fundamental tone because the Greeks really delivered. Now it is for us to deliver."

“I am impressed by Greece's recent performance,” he added. “Greece is on track to meet its commitments step by step.

“There won't be any definitive decisions today, but I think the general feeling is that we would like the next disbursement to done in the most efficient way possible,” he said.

Greece is hoping its lenders will agree to release the loan installment before the end of the month, thereby allowing for disagreements between the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund over Greek debt sustainability to be resolved.

Once there is an agreement on the debt analysis, it will be sent to national parliaments to get approval for the disbursement of the next aid tranche -- money Athens needs to pay off loans and shore up its banks.

“I think it's rather unrealistic to expect a final decision today as in Germany the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) has to agree to it in advance,» German government spokeswoman Marianne Kothe said.

Lenders also have to agree on how to provide the extra funding Greece will need if it receives a two-year extension of its targets.

Time pressure for a deal on Greece is growing because Athens has to redeem 5 billion euros worth of treasury bills on Nov. 16 and has been counting on cash from the next euro zone aid tranche to help cover that.

Since the money will not come in time, Greece wants to roll over the bills. “We are very confident the issue will be rolled over without any problem,» a senior debt agency official told Reuters.

“We have liaised with the ECB regarding the ceiling on the outstanding stock of T-bills and there is no problem."

A senior EU official also said euro zone ministers were aware of the Nov. 16 Greek redemption and that there would be no «accidental” default.

Meanwhile, the Greek Finance Ministry announced on Monday that Greece beat its deficit target in the first 10 months of 2012 as spending fell 13.2 percent and revenue rose.

The budget gap, which excludes outlays by state-controlled enterprises, narrowed by 42 percent to 12.3 billion euros from 21.1 billion euros in the same period a year earlier, preliminary figures showed.

The government target was 13.6 billion euros. The primary deficit, which excludes debt-service costs, was 1.2 billion euros versus a goal of 2.4 billion euros.

[Kathimerini English Edition & agencies]

ekathimerini.com , Monday November 12, 2012 (15:29)  
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. World’s 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.