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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-12-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Negotiations with troika in good climate, FinMin Stournaras says

  • [01] Negotiations with troika in good climate, FinMin Stournaras says

    ANA-MPA -- Negotiations with the troika continue in good and constructive climate, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said on Thursday following the meeting of the Government Council for Administrative Reform.

    "I hope to have a solution to all issues as soon as possible," he added.

    Stournaras had reported a "good and constructive climate" with the troika representing Greece's creditors late on Wednesday evening, after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to discuss the outcome of the first round of negotiations with troika officials, which were resumed earlier the same day.

    "We will see," he replied when asked about the likely outcome of the talks, indicating that the discussion about the fate of Hellenic Defence Systems was still ongoing.

    A short while earlier, a source from the development and competitiveness ministry had announced that the government and the heads of the troika had found a "common ground" on which they might agree with regard to home foreclosures and auctions. He emphasised, however, that the convergence in views arising during Wednesday's meeting "does not mean that an agreement will emerge".

    The two sides will continue meeting over the next few days, both on the level of technical teams and at a senior level. According to development ministry sources, the discussion is focusing on three measures that the government is pushing for, namely that protection from foreclosures be extended for the whole of 2014, that the Katseli law for borrowers that are up-to-date with payments be retained and that a system of out-of-court settlement based on the Irish model apply after 2015. Under the Irish model, the borrower must meet certain income criteria and acceptable living standards.

    A senior finance ministry source present at the meeting between troika heads and Stournaras had also announced that the government intends to table the bill on real estate tax in Parliament on Thursday or Friday.

    The same source clarified that key issues remain unresolved, including a plan for the restructuring of EAS and the VAT rate for restaurants and catering services.

    The meeting also discussed improvements in legislation governing stock exchange transactions and others.

    According to finance ministry officials, the draft bill for the real estate tax will be an omnibus bill that will also include measures referring to a Fiscal Council that will monitor the execution of the budget and interventions relating to the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) that are considered necessary for bank recapitalisation.

    Meanwhile, on Thursday, government vice president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in all likelihood the agreement with the troika will be reached. He made the statements after a meeting with the troika.

    "The results are impressive for Greece. The international private sector has made clear shift in favour of Greece and all political contacts at a high level understand what has happened," Venizelos noted.

    Regarding the issue of home foreclosures - which is one of the outstanding issues to reaching agreement - he said that if there is no agreement, the government will extend the protection of poor and average income households; he added that no bank is willing to chase after anyone for debts.

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