NEWS

Troika in talks with PM, party leaders

Troika officials are meeting with top government officials on Thursday. The European Commission?s Matthias Mors, the International Monetary Fund?s Poul Thomsen and the European Central Bank?s Klaus Masuch are meeting with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos at 11 a.m.

On the same day, Papademos is scheduled to meet with the head of the European Commission?s task force to Greece, Horst Reichenbach. A cabinet meeting is taking place in the afternoon, while the Prime Minister is also holding talks with LAOS leader Giorgos Karantzaferis later in the day.

Also on Thursday, troika officials are expected to meet with New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and PASOK chief George Papandreou.

Meanwhile, speaking at an Economist conference on Wednesday, Thomsen said that Greece has to break the taboo of dismissing civil servants and that the government will now have to move ahead with the closing down of public bodies and to ?non-voluntary departures? of staff.

?There is no more room for across-the-board expenditure cuts in wages and pensions. Greece needs to move more aggressively in closing down redundant state enterprises and may have to accept redundancies. I cannot see how Greece can tackle fiscal problems without addressing these taboos,? Thomsen said.