Troika want more reductions


Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras met with representatives of the so-called ‘troika’ of international lenders yesterday, in what was described as a ‘tough and sticky’ meeting.

The official version of events as published in AMNA news agency is as follows:

‘On Monday, Samaras met with a delegation of the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) ‘troika’ of Greece’s international lenders, and discussed the package of measures for 11.5 billion euro cuts in state spending over the next two years ironed out by Greece’s coalition government.

Finance minister Yannis Stournaras, who also attended the 50-minute meeting, said afterwards that efforts were being made to convince the troika of the justness of the Greek positions.

Sources said that details concerning the measures were not discussed, but a substantial discussion took place on what is feasible and what is not feasible, while the Greek side told the troika that the Greek citizens cannot withstand further austerity measures.

A high-ranking Finance Ministry official later told AMNA that Greece must present a completed draft with 11.9 billion euros in measures for the two-year period 2012-2013 to next Friday’s (Sept. 14) Eurogroup meeting in Nicosia, even if there is no total agreement with the troika and unveiling of the measures in Greece by that date.

The ministry official described the climate of the discussion with the troika as “tough and sticky”, and confirmed that the troika were adamant in not accepting the proposed measures concerning the restructure of the state and in their insistence on dismissals in the civil service, including the core public sector, which the Greek side refuses, as affirmed after Sunday night’s meeting of the leaders of the three parties participating in the coalition government.’ ENDS

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be in Frankfurt today to hold further meetings with president of the European central bank, Mario Draghi.

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