ECONOMY

Troika to delay visit by one week

The representatives of Greece?s creditors, the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, have reportedly put back their visit to Athens by a week and will come to monitor the country?s progress on August 29 instead, although no official date has been announced yet.

However, the troika mission?s one-week delay will hardly be enough for the government to pass the reforms it has committed itself to settle within the month, while two serious issues have emerged as far as the privatizations required are concerned.

Original estimates had placed the starting date for the operation of the privatization fund at end-August, but this seems increasingly unlikely owing to the decline of local stock prices, which devalue state assets, and legal issues regarding the operation of the fund.

The troika?s approval of Greece?s progress is essential for the disbursement of the next tranche of the country?s bailout package in mid-September, whether through bilateral loans or by the new European Financial Stability Facility.