New round of troika talks will be ‘truly difficult,’ admits Greek government

A Finance Ministry official has described as “truly difficult” the negotiations between Greece and the troika, which are due to resume on Monday afternoon.

The official was speaking after a meeting between the heads of the Finance, Health, Interior, Labor and Administrative Reform ministries on Monday morning ahead of talks with visiting officials representing Greece’s lenders.

Among the main issues to be discussed are the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014 and the placing of another 12,500 in a mobility scheme this year.

The government will also have to present plans on reining in spending at Greece’s main healthcare provider, EOPYY.

The Finance Ministry official said that there will be in attempt to conclude the talks by the Eurogroup meeting that will take place on July 8. Greece hopes to receive its next loan tranche of 8.1 billion euros once an agreement has been reached with the troika. The ministry representative did not rule out the possibility that this would be broken down into sub-tranches.

The troika is to begin its meetings at the Finance Ministry on Monday afternoon at 5 p.m. They are due to meet new Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at 7.30 p.m. Mitsotakis is expected to ask for more time to complete the mobility scheme. The inspectors will then visit the Labor Ministry on Tuesday morning.

The troika is pushing for this year’s emergency property tax to be paid in four rather than five instalments to avoid a funding gap of 400 million euros being created by the beginning of 2014.

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