Greece to hold more debt talks end of September

GMT 21:38 2014 Thursday ,04 September

Arab Today, arab today Greece to hold more debt talks end of September

People walk in front of the Greek parliament in Athens
Paris - AFP

Greece and its international creditors will meet again at the end of month after three days of talks over the deeply indebted country's finances, officials said on Thursday.
Representatives from Greece and the "troika" of the European Central Bank, European Commission and International Monetary Fund had thrashed out sensitive details over three days of talks in Paris that Greek officials had hailed as "positive".
"There was a deep discussion" on the issue of Greece's debt, which currently stands of 175.1 percent of gross domestic product, according to one Greek finance ministry official who declined to be named.
The other hot topic was the issue of tax breaks which the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras hopes to announce to pep up flagging opinion poll ratings ahead of likely early elections next year.
"We opened the topic. They were relaxed and open because the discussion wasn't yet official but I can't tell you what their position will be," said the Greek official.
Another source suggested an understanding had been reached amongst troika officials that tax breaks should be allowed but only with precise targets for tax income.
The representative of the European Commission, Declan Costello, said the three days of talks had led to "a greater understanding of the most significant problems."
"We are preparing the next discussions scheduled for later in the month," he said.
Greece wants its hard-won efforts at economic reform to be recognised with a concrete pledge to reduce payments on its massive debt.
Much of the country's 318 billion euros is held by European institutions and Athens had hoped the Paris talks would pave the way for an agreement on lower interest rates or longer maturity.
Excruciating reforms carried out by Samaras seem to be finally paying off, with the country set to exit a painful six-year recession this year.
As a sign of easing tensions, the Paris talks were held in the calm atmosphere of the upscale 16th district, a far cry from the volatile and sometimes violent welcome troika representatives received in Athens at the height of the crisis.

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