Minister Antonis Samaras’ meeting with representatives of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission yesterday afternoon did not bring desired results, since the two sides failed reaching a final agreement.
Troika team is scheduled to depart and will return to Athens at the end of the month or at the beginning of April to continue talks.
According to tovima.gr, yesterday’s deadlock ruined the -as proved- rudimentary government planning. During the two-and-a-half-hours long meeting at the Maximos Mansion, between the Premier and the troika representatives, the gap that separates the two sidesbecame fully apparent and the government’s “red lines” of resistance were hit hard. At the same time, sources pointed out an apparent lack of preparation on the Greek side.
After the meeting, Finance minister Yannis Stournaras said the government is very close to a deal with the troika. Stournaras said the troika officials are to leave Athens but would come back in a few days to continue talks. The finance minister added that significant progress has been achieved on all issues on the negotiating table, with only some technical matters still being open, AMNA reports.
Replying to a question as to whether latest developments would affect the disbursement of the bailout loan’s March EUR 2.8-billion tranche, Stournaras appeared certain that Greece “will get the money,” adding that discussions will continue to achieve a final agreement.
According to Kathimerini, no conclusion was reached on matters including the reduction of civil servant numbers and a payment plan for firms and individuals who owe social security contributions, or as regards the possibility of bank customers being given more favorable terms to repay their loans and mortgages.
Earlier, enet.gr informs, government officials and troika inspectors held a lengthy meeting that concluded an hour before the meeting with the Prime Minister. Present in the meeting were Stournaras, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, as well as the premier’s close advisors Chrysanthos Lazaridis and Stavros Papastavrou.