NEWS

Stournaras in fresh talks with troika, banks in spotlight

The mission chiefs of the troika were on Friday to meet for the second time is as many days with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.

The talks, which are to continue for several days, are expected to focus on a new proposal by the government for the replacement of an emergency property tax with a new unified tax that has lower charges and is levied across a broader base as well as a much-delayed scheme to downsize the civil service and the thorny issue of billions of euros in citizens’ outstanding debts to the state. After talks on Thursday, Stournaras admitted that negotiations with the foreign envoys would be difficult.

Also on Friday, officials of the troika’s technical teams were to hold talks on Friday with the heads of National Bank of Greece (NBG), Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank on the progress of a scheme to recapitalize the lenders.

Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank have already held called general meetings for later this month when they are to discuss the increase of their share capital in the context of the lenders’ recapitalization. Meanwhile the merger of NBG and Eurobank is expected to be completed within the month of June and to be followed by the recapitalization of the new unified lender.