NEWS

Greek cabinet prepares for troika’s return, which begins with budget review

Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis will be holding his last meetings with government officials on Monday ahead of the troika’s arrival in Athens on Tuesday, when Greece’s lenders will begin by examining the draft 2015 budget being drawn up the coalition.

The troika is particularly keen to see the government’s projections regarding next year’s primary surplus and fiscal gap.

Finance Ministry sources see the 2015 primary surplus coming in at 2.3-2.5 percent of GDP. In order to achieve this, the government believes that it would need to implement measures next year equivalent to 3 percent of GDP.

The troika, though, believes there is a fiscal gap of around 2 billion euros and that the primary surplus will reach just 2 percent of GDP. The target had been 3 percent of GDP. The draft budget is due to be submitted to Parliament on Monday, October 6.

Hardouvelis is due to meet four cabinet colleagues on Monday: Development Minister Nikos Dendias, Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis and Health Minister Makis Voridis as the cabinet prepares for the new round of talks with the troika.