Prime Minister Antonis Samaras spent the weekend at Maximos Mansion, where he chaired a “mini” cabinet meeting at his office to prepare for tomorrow’s Eurogroup meeting, meeting all loose ends in terms of necessary legislation for the implementation of the new austerity package. The meeting was attended by the ministers of finance, development, education, administrative reform, tourism, health and labour.
According to Athens News Agency, the agenda for the meeting covered all details that must be dealt with immediately under Greece’s commitments to the troika, including small changes to aspects of the omnibus bill outlining austerity cuts and structural reforms passed by Parliament last week, in order to further clarify points on which the troika has doubts and objections.
Also discussed were a number of joint ministerial decrees that are to be tabled in Parliament for a series of issues. Today, the General Secretariat of the Government will table a legislative act including all these changes, so that there are no glitches in tomorrow’s talks with Eurozone finance ministers.
With a crucial Eurogroup summit due to take place in Brussels tomorrow, when Greece hopes to get at least initial approval for the release of vital rescue funding, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been focusing on projecting a united front to the country’s foreign creditors despite continuing upheaval within his coalition, Kathimerini writes.
The approval of new aid -likely to comprise three installments “bundled” into a EUR 44 billion loan rather- remains the top priority for the Premier. But sources indicated that a final decision on new funding is unlikely to be taken until the end of this month due to an ongoing dispute between the IMF and Germany regarding the funding gap created by a two-year extension granted to Greece to achieve fiscal adjustment targets and over how the country’s huge debt can be made sustainable.
In the meantime Samaras wants his ministers to proceed with the “prior actions” demanded by the troika, including an overhaul of the tax system, the creation of a committee to oversee the budget execution and the acceleration of privatizations.