FinMin, troika talks focus on lagging privatization drive

Talks between Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and representatives of Greece’s troika of international creditors on Friday were to focus on how to speed up a lagging privatization drive, ministry sources said.

One high-ranking ministry source said the discussions would concentrate on “institutional issues and on how the state can facilitate privatizations.” He added that the target for revenue from privatizations this year remained 1.3 billion euros.

Talks with the troika are expected to continue over the weekend as several issues remain unresolved including the fate of state defense firm, EAS, which is the final obstacle to the release of 1 billion euros in rescue funding to Greece, the matter of value added tax on restaurants and food services, which was reduced to 13 percent in the summer for a trial period but which the troika reportedly want to revert to the higher rate, and on the thorny issue of home foreclosures.

According to the same ministry source, troika envoys are expected to leave Athens in the middle of next week.

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