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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-11-11

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Troika meeting with admin. reform minister cancelled

  • [01] Troika meeting with admin. reform minister cancelled

    ANA-MPA -- A Monday afternoon meeting between troika officials representing Greece's lenders and Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, scheduled to take place at 5:00 pm, was cancelled by the troika without explanation, the ministry announced.

    Sources at the ministry said they were hard pressed to understand what intervened to change the troika's stance, given that the time of the meeting had been finalised on Sunday and cancelled on Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. with no reasons given. They surmise that outstanding issues relating to economic matters in the overall negotiations with the government, as reflected by the lack of progress in the talks with the finance ministry, prompted the delay.

    Officials at the finance ministry, meanwhile, blamed the heads of the troika for the delays and insisted that the government was "fully ready, with the fiscal figures better than ever before."

    Administrative reform ministry officials said that the move raised questions concerning the troika's stance in the talks with the government, while the meeting between the representatives of the creditors and the finance minister on Tuesday may shed light on what comes next.

    Mitsotakis' aides, on their part, said the ministry had "passed muster" in the planned evaluation by the troika since it has fulfilled everything that was agreed concerning the placement of 12,500 public-sector staff in a labour reserve pool and the dismissal of the 2,000 employees of the former public broadcaster ERT, as well as an assessment of structures and staff for 400,000 civil servants.

    With respect to the second wave of layoffs into the labour reserve pool, the ministry said that this will be carried out with a small delay not exceeding one or two months, which is necessary in order for a proper assessment of services and staff to be carried out. The ministry and the government also consider that any staff laid off in the restructuring of state defence industries must also count toward the final tally of dismissals required by the troika, in addition to those of contract workers currently retaining their jobs by temporary court orders.

    Regarding the overall negotiation with the government, however, administrative reform ministry officials predicted that this might drag on because troika officials are due to depart from Athens on Wednesday ahead of a Eurogroup meeting the following day and it is unknown when they will return.

    Finance ministry officials are troubled by the deadlock during the talks with the troika on Sunday, where no substantial progress was made during a four-hour meeting with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and the time horizon for concluding the talks remaining unclear.

    Stournaras is due to have two meetings with the troika chiefs on Tuesday (one at noon and one at 5:00 p.m.) while ministry officials noted that "we also have patience" and suggesting that the talks may continue until after Christmas.

    Government sources also point out that the delay means that the Greek side will be forced to go ahead and table legislations for a new property tax and next year's budget without the troika's go-ahead, as well as a plan for restructuring the country's state defence industries.

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