Saturday December 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Troika positive on Greece but tells gov't to watch banks and surplus

The troika issued a statement on Wednesday night confirming the conclusion of a seven-month review of the Greek adjustment program in which the country’s lenders appeared broadly positive about Greece’s prospects but highlighted banks’ capital needs and this year’s surplus as two key areas that need to be watched closely.

“The mission and the authorities agreed that the economy is beginning to stabilize and is poised for a gradual resumption of growth, broadly in line with our previous projections,” the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission said in a statement issued some 30 hours after the Greek government had announced the conclusion of the review. “Prices are adjusting and inflation remains well below the euro area average.”

Without identifying a specific figure, the troika acknowledged that Greece had exceeded its primary surplus target for 2013 but added that this was partly achieved due to one-off measures that would not apply this year.

“Preliminary estimates suggest the 2013 primary balance target was met with a substantial margin,” said the troika. “While only a small portion of this overperformance will carry over into 2014, we believe that the 2014 fiscal targets will also be met, taking into account the measures being implemented and planned.”

The lenders’ statement also indicated that a solidarity tax on incomes introduced in 2011 as an emergency measure could be extended beyond this year to 2015 as well to help the government meet its target of producing a 3 percent of GDP surplus by then.

The troika further drew attention to the issue of banks’ capital needs, indicating that it remains skeptical about the 6.4-billion figure presented by the Bank of Greece earlier this month based on stress tests carried out by BlackRock.

“According to the assessment of the mission teams, there are upside risks to the capital needs estimates, in particular, if the authorities and banks do not urgently and efficiently address the high level of nonperforming loans,” Greece’s lenders said. “Swift recapitalization of banks will strengthen their balance sheets. The Bank of Greece should remain vigilant in its oversight of the banking system and proceed forcefully in requiring banks to quickly work out their large stock of problem assets.”

The troika also called for a swifter private sector debt resolution process and insisted that the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund should maintain its current capital buffer “to meet future adverse contingencies.”

Greece’s lenders appeared broadly satisfied in terms of the country’s efforts on structural reforms. “The authorities are making progress on structural reforms to improve the growth potential and flexibility of the Greek economy and help create a fairer and more supportive environment for investment, growth, and job creation.”

In addition, Greece’s lenders gave an indication of the liberalization measures, as recommended by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), that the coalition government has agreed to adopt.

“They are committed to implementing a very large majority of product market reforms identified by the recent OECD study in the areas of food processing, tourism, building materials, and retail; to taking concrete measures to liberalize the transport and rental markets and open up closed professions; and to reducing social security contribution rates and nuisance taxes,” the statement said.

Athens has so far remained silent on this aspect of its agreement with the troika.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday March 19, 2014 (21:28)  
Tsipras admits there could be hard days ahead
Public medical centers keeping up despite shortages
Scientists to announce Amphipolis skeleton findings next month
PM to take legal action over allegations of bribery in presidential vote
Workers rush to get early retirement
Nine out of 10 workers who retired in the last four months who had belonged to the former special funds of banks and state corporations that have now been incorporated in the Social Security...
Piraeus Containter Terminal goes from strength to strength
Piraeus Container Terminal, the local subsidiary of Chinese giant Cosco Pacific, is expected to handle a total of over 3 million containers in the January-December period of this year. The J...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
SOCCER
Abidal cuts short playing career at Olympiakos
Former France and Barcelona defender Eric Abidal announced his retirement from football on Friday, a day before his last match. Abidal said he will finish after playing for Olympiakos agains...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The big picture
In his second term, US President Barack Obama is taking steps to enshrine his legacy and solidify America’s standing in the 21st century. His recent decision to normalize relations between t...
EDITORIAL
Get your facts straight
The danger that political discourse in Greece will sink to the basest levels of vulgarity is already more than apparent from the allegations we have heard bandied about over recent days. The...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
2. Tsipras admits there could be hard days ahead
3. Public medical centers keeping up despite shortages
4. Workers rush to get early retirement
5. Piraeus Containter Terminal goes from strength to strength
6. Moscovici: Creditor inspections to become less frequent and ‘lighter’
more news
Today
This Week
1. The big picture
2. Get your facts straight
3. Ship with 200 migrants off Pylos towed to Italy after passengers refuse to stop in Greece
4. Independent Greeks MP Haikalis claims attempted bribery for presidential vote
5. Independent Greeks leader backs MP's bribery claims, threatens to release video [Update]
6. Greek PM Samaras confronts peril putting his Greek transformation to vote
Today
This Week
1. Juncker warns Greeks against voting 'extreme forces' into power
2. Romanos and the dilemma
3. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
6. High stakes
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.