International creditors back in Athens to review reforms

GMT 18:39 2015 Wednesday ,21 October

Arab Today, arab today International creditors back in Athens to review reforms

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos (L)
Athens - AFP

Greece's international creditors held talks early Wednesday with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos to review progress on reforms demanded from the debt-ridden government in exchange for bailout funds.
The minister met with the European Commission's Declan Costello, the European Central Bank's Rasmus Rueffer, Nicola Giammarioli from the European Stability Mechanism and Delia Velculescu of the International Monetary Fund, the finance ministry said.

The negotiators were to meet later Wednesday with deputy finance minister George Chouliarakis and deputy treasury minister Tryfon Alexiadis to review public finances, the 2016 budget and tax legislation, the ministry said.

Short of cash, Greece was given in August a first tranche of 13 billion euros ($14.8 billion) to help it meet payments owed to the ECB and the IMF.

In Brussels, the European commissioner for the euro, Valdis Dombrovskis, indicated Athens was likely to receive a further 2.0 billion next week, telling a press briefing that Greece "is more or less on track (but) I will be able comment more" during a visit to Athens early next week.

Dombrovskis will meet with Tsakalotos as well as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The Greek parliament last week adopted a law covering an initial set of reforms including tax hikes.

A daunting overhaul of the country's struggling pensions system is expected next month.

Leading union GSEE on Monday called for a general strike on November 12, the first since Tsipras and his left-wing Syriza party first came to power in January.

The creditors' visit is their first since Tsipras returned to power after a snap vote on September 20.

Under a deal reached in July, Athens agreed to more public spending cuts in return for a three-year, 86 billion euro ($96 billion) EU bailout -- its third since 2010 -- which prevented it crashing out of the eurozone.

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