NEWS

Coalition partners meet Tuesday to finalize measures [update]

Coalition leaders will meet on Tuesday at 15.00 for talks on the new cost-cutting measures demanded by Greece’s foreign lenders so that the country can secure its next tranche of aid to avoid bankruptcy.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis will discuss the final details of the 13.5-billion-euro package — which includes a new wave of cuts to wages and pensions — and when this will be voted on in Parliament.

Athens must vote the measures through by the time eurozone finance ministers meet on November 12.

Reports on Monday said the government and troika officials are close to an agreement on the content of the package.

The two sides appear to have reached a compromise on the thorny issue of labor reforms which have previously prompted objections from government coalition partners.

Greek officials last week resisted a troika request for compensation for sacked workers to be reduced and for automatic three-year pay rises to employees earning the minimum wage to be scrapped.

The European Commission said Monday it hoped to conclude the final round of talks with Greece over its adjustment program in the coming days.

“We are [discussing] with the Greek authorities the last fiscal and structural measures on which we have to agree,» Commission spokesman Simon O’Connor said in Brussels. «We hope to conclude [these discussions] in the next days,» he said.

The official rejected speculation of an emergency Eurogroup meeting later this month to discuss the next aid installment and the troika’s progress report on Greece.

Meawhile, Samaras on Monday expelled one of his deputies for threatening to vote against the package.

Nikos Stavrogiannis, a Fthiotida MP, was dismissed from the New Democracy parliamentary group after saying he would vote against the measures because they were ?unfair, harsh and ineffective.?

Stavrogiannis hit back saying he could no longer follow ND’s ?Ovidian transformations.?