Stournaras: rush to tie up loose ends before Eurogroup

Government officials are to do their best on Friday to tie up all loose ends ahead of the next scheduled Eurogroup meeting on Monday when Greece hopes to get the green light for further rescue funding, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told reporters late on Thursday after talks with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Stournaras said efforts would be made on Friday to finalize all ministerial decisions for the implementation of the latest multi-bill that was voted through Parliament last month, foreseeing layoffs in the civil service among a raft of other economic reforms.

Questioned about the value added tax on restaurants, which stands at 23 percent, Stournaras said that the government would broach the possible reduction of the levy in June when troika envoys are expected to return to Greece for their next review.

As for the special consumption tax on heating oil, the minister said that it’s reduction was impossible at this time.

Greece expects euro zone finance ministers to approve the release of 4.2 billion euros in aid for the first quarter of the year and is hoping to get the green light for another 3.3 billion euros in aid slated for the second quarter.