ECONOMY

Troika is demanding progress on five fronts

Greece’s creditors will send their representatives back to Athens next week, expecting to see progress on certain fronts that are considered crucial for the continuation of the Greek fiscal streamlining program, given that, according to sources, Greece has not even complied with half of its end-June commitments.

The troika mission from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will arrive on June 29 and Athens has been told that progress on five specific fronts is imperative for the granting of approval for the disbursement of the next loan tranche to Greece.

The first concerns the program for the suspension of 12,500 civil servants. According to the agreement with its creditors, Athens will have to present a full list of names by the end of June. The troika has not yet received any plans to this effect from the Greek side, so it has asked for full compliance with this prior action that is considered crucial for the inspection to continue without further ado.

The second area concerns the new Single Property Tax set to apply from next year. The Finance Ministry is expected to complete a bill that will determine how the new tax will be applied within this month. Negotiations will restart after the troika’s technical experts issue their report on the new tax proposed.

Covering the financing gap of the National Healthcare Provision Organization (EOPYY) amounting to just under 1 billion euros this year is a major challenge, especially given that the Finance Ministry has warned it will not take any new measures to plug the hole.

The fourth issue is the sale of state-controlled Proton Bank and Hellenic Postbank (TT). Both banks will have to have been sold by July 15 and the troika is expecting to see how that will happen.

Finally, the troika is eagerly anticipating progress in privatizations although the inspectors appear quite flexible about revising the 2.6-billion-euro revenues target for 2013.

All these issues will therefore have to be dealt with within just one week, before the return of the troika and ahead of the next Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers on July 8, while the IMF demands the troika inspection be completed by July 10 so that it can have its report by July 15.