Greece will negotiate after achieving primary surplus, says Stournaras

Greece will embark on a major negotiation with its partners and creditors, known as the troika, after a primary surplus is achieved later this year, said Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras speaking on Skai on Wednesday.

While insisting the country was on the right track, Stournaras said Greece had to stick to its adjustment program.

A funding gap foreseen for summer 2014, which is expected to reach 10.5 billion euros, would be covered either through a return to the markets or a new loan, Stournaras said.

On the subject of the country’s overhaul of its defense industries, Hellenic Defense Systems and the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) and mining company Larco, Stournaras noted that while all three have been deemed unsustainable, costing Greek taxpayers 150 million euros per annum, the Greek government was negotiating with the troika and pushing for the companies to be liquidated while in operation.

On Tuesday it emerged that troika officials had reportedly sent an email to the Greek Finance Ministry suggesting that the companies should be declared bankrupt and closed down without compensating their employees.

The minister noted that the midterm fiscal plan for 2016 and 2017 was currently being devised.

On the subject of heating oil Stournaras said that a tax reduction would be positive for consumers but would lead to revenue losses for the government. The government had adopted heating subsidies, Stournaras said, and was planning to change some of the requirements in an effort to render them more attractive to the public.

There will be no new taxes, said the minister, besides the changes in the property tax levied through the electricity bills and the unified property tax.

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