Government, troika talks focus on 2018 fiscal figures

Government, troika talks focus on 2018 fiscal figures
The government will begin discussion on the 2018 fiscal figures with the troika officials today.
 
Media reports suggest that agreement was struck earlier this week on a crucial labor issue, namely the rules governing industrial action. However, disagreement reportedly remains on the reform of child and family benefits.
 
The two sides also appeared to still be apart on several other issues, including the sale of Public Power Corp lignite units and out of court settlement of debts.
 
The troika mission chiefs appear to be concerned by the fact that only twenty percent of the almost one hundred prior actions that must be implemented have been completed. Sources suggest that the government is dragging its feet on several issues, with some ministries being unproductive. However, so far creditors have not brought up the need to implement additional measures nor have unexpected demands been raised.
 
According to the same sources, the issues of whether or not Athens will meet its 3.5% primary surplus target for 2018, as well as a so-called social dividend Athens wants to hand out at Christmas, also form part of the agenda for discussion this week.
 
According to parts of the Greek press, decisions on the program targets will be put off till end-November, after the October data on the execution of the budget have been released.
 
The institution mission chiefs are expected to continue talks until Friday and depart Athens on Saturday, to return for more direct negotiations in December.
 
Meanwhile, the Euro Work Group convenes today. It is expected to approve the disbursement of an 800 million-euro bailout loan sub-tranche to Greece. The funds will be used to repay State debts to private individuals and businesses.
 
Speaking earlier this week, Prime Minister Tsipras said Greece is gradually regaining its national sovereignty after many years of recession and the supervision of its economic policy by international creditors.
 
The PM stressed that an era of “fair growth” has begun, adding that “no reform can succeed without the consensus of society […] we have succeeded where others failed”…/IBNA