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Marathon troika talks to continue in Athens later on Monday

Greek government officials are to continue talks with troika representatives on Monday after failing to reach an agreement on a range of issues over the weekend.

The two sides were locked in 14-hour negotiations, which ended at 5 a.m. on Monday, but there was no agreement on a range of issues. These include extra civil service sackings, regulations on mass dismissals, the use of the primary surplus and liberalization measures.

A Finance Ministry official told the media that the two sides are aiming to conclude their talks by Monday night.

“We are very close on all the issues,” he said. “I can’t be certain that we are wrapping things up but I don’t rule it out either.”

Talks have been complicated somewhat by the troika demanding the dismissal of civil servants in 2015. Until now, the two sides had stuck to a plan for 15,000 public sector workers to be sacked by the end of this year. Athens has so far rejected the troika’s request for more dismissals.

Greece’s lenders are also insisting that Greece adopt all of the liberalization measures recommended by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in its so-called “tool-kit.” The government has indicated it is only willing to implement around 80 percent of the measures, which are aimed at enhancing competition.

ekathimerini.com , Monday March 17, 2014 (09:43)  
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