PM wants pending issues with troika resolved by April 12

During a four-hour meeting at the Finance Ministry that finished shortly before midnight on Thursday, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras pressed for all outstanding issues in negotiations with the troika, who are due back in Athens next week, to be completed by April 12 when aurozone officials are to decide whether to release further rescue funding to Greece.

According to sources, the talks late on Thursday focused on a drop in tax revenue and a 2-billion-euro shortfall in insurance companies’ budgets as well as the possibility of changing the method of levying an unpopular property tax which is currently attached to electricity bills.

Government officials also discussed a plan for the departure of 5,000 civil servants accused of disciplinary offenses ahead of negotiations with the troika on a broader streamlining of the public sector.

The anticipated repercussions of the Cyprus banking crisis on Greece were also discussed and it was reportedly agreed that the impact would not be excessive.

The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Labor and Social Insurance Minister Yiannis Vroutsis who left early, according to sources.

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