Greece and the troika of international lenders (EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) are likely to miss their scheduled date – an EU summit on October 18 – to agree measures to sort out the Greek economy in exchange for new credit, Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras said on Monday.
“Talks will continue up to the summit and after it,” he said in Athens after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who had previously promised to reach agreement with the creditors by the EU summit date.
When asked if Greece would definitely not reach an agreement with the troika by the set date, Stournaras replied: “We are trying, but I don’t know.”
Greece is expecting its next tranche of financial aid by mid-November, he said. The creditors are refusing to grant the next 31.5-billion-euro tranche unless Greece implements a new round of budgetary cuts and tax increases. The budget cuts could total 12 billion euros in the next two years while tax increases could bring in another 2 billion euros.
Difficult negotiations between Greece and the troika have continued since the summer, when the new Greek coalition government came to power headed by Samaras.
Last weekend, the troika’s experts held long consultation talks with the Greek cabinet on the question of state sector redundancies.
Last year, Greece undertook to cut the number of state employees but it has not yet been implemented.