Venizelos meets with troika envoys in Athens, calls for final deal

Greece and its foreign lenders must complete talks as soon as possible in order to end uncertainty about the future of the debt-hit country, deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos said during a meeting with representatives of the EU/IMF troika on Thursday, sources told Kathimerini.

“Finalizing an agreement will help the government’s efforts as well [help to] attract serious investment,” said Venizelos according to the same sources.

Venizelos, who is also the leader of coalition partner PASOK, reportedly confirmed the need to promote structural changes in the Greek economy, but voiced his opposition to any horizontal fiscal measures.

The Greek government resumed talks on Wednesday with troika envoys on a series of unresolved matters including the overhaul of state defense firm EAS, the final obstacle to the release of a 1-billion-euro tranche of rescue funding, but little progress was reported in bridging the gap between the two sides.

During the meeting Thursday, Venizelos is said to have expressed dissatisfaction at the failure of troika officials to acknowledge the progress achieved by the Greek side.

European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Herman Van Rompuy have all hailed Greece’s progress, Venizelos reportedly said, criticizing troika officials of “undermining the government.”

Troika inspectors are scheduled to meet with Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

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