Thursday Jul 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
23o 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)  
PPC to look into death of disabled customer
Boutaris plans Islamic art museum for Thessaloniki
PM, Venizelos meet as Administrative Reform Ministry eases stance on evaluation
Activists launch flotilla against Syria chemicals
Wait is still on for many taxpayers
Some 200,000 taxpayers are still waiting for their income tax declarations, which were submitted in time, to be processed, while a number of other problems are putting the payment of the fir...
Hardouvelis to push for milestones target
The multi-bill covering the prior actions required for the disbursement of the summer’s second sub-tranche is an immediate priority for the government, but it is not the only one. The Financ...
Inside Business
TRACK & FIELD
Athens, the Marathon capital of the world for good
Paco Borao, the man who restored Athens as the Marathon capital of the world with the establishment at the Olympic Sports Center of the headquarters of the International Association of Marat...
TRACK & FIELD
Pole vault record on same day as three doping cases
Greek track and field had a mixed weekend, as on the same day as Katerina Stefanidi matched the national record in pole vault as well as the leading result in Europe so far this season, thre...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
When evaluation is seen as useless
The reactions toward the government’s plans for an evaluation of public sector workers are completely unsurprising. Civil servants – and not just the unions that represent them – abhor the m...
EDITORIAL
Playing the good guy
There is a part of the government that is striving to fulfill the commitments that Greece has undertaken toward its foreign creditors, most of which pertain to reforms that are absolutely es...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Wait is still on for many taxpayers
2. Hardouvelis to push for milestones target
3. IMF insists on eurozone lightening Greece’s debt
4. Investors buy into possible rating upgrade
5. PPC to look into death of disabled customer
6. Boutaris plans Islamic art museum for Thessaloniki
more news
Today
This Week
1. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
2. Democracy 'retreated' during crisis, says Papoulias
3. Efforts continue on Crete to find 'Sifis' the crocodile
4. Family of deceased woman on life support says application for 'special status' had been filed with PPC
5. Medical assistance for Acropolis visitors
6. Presidential election will not lead to snap elections, Samaras tells ND deputies
Today
This Week
1. The cost of excellence
2. Ex-Credit Suisse banker taps lesson for Greek rebound
3. Greece seen in third bailout as bonds not enough, economists say
4. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
5. Greek banks able to tap investors after stress tests, HFSF Says
6. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.