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Stournaras attends Eurogroup hoping 1-bln tranche can still be secured this month

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is due to attend Monday’s Eurogroup meeting with the hope that Greece can still convince the troika it has met enough bailout commitments to receive its next bailout tranche of 1 billion euros before the end of the month.

A European Commission spokesman said on Saturday that the full troika team would not return to Athens this week, seemingly putting off any progress in talks between the two sides until January.

However, it has since become clear that at least two of the three mission chiefs – Poul Thomsen of the International Monetary Fund and Matthias Mors of the European Commission – are due to come to Athens on Tuesday. It is thought that Klaus Masuch of the European Central Bank will not take part, a move that is being interpreted as Frankfurt showing its displeasure with the Greek government over its position on home foreclosures.

The Greek government believes that the only outstanding “prior action” it has to meet in order to be eligible for the next sub-tranche of 1 billion euros is to decide the future of the Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS). Greece has made a proposal regarding the downsizing of the firm and is waiting for the troika’s response.

Athens is hoping to secure the next instalment as soon as possible as it has to pay bonds worth 1.8 billion euros that mature on January 11.

ekathimerini.com , Monday December 9, 2013 (15:32)  
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