Greek government initiates political negotiations

Greek government initiates political negotiations


By Spiros Sideris – Athens

“Right now we are negotiating with the troika. We cannot reveal information on the negotiation. However, we assure the Greek people that we are doing what is best”, said to SKAI television the government spokesperson Sophia Vooltepsis, regarding the publication of the Sunday edition of “Kathimerini”, which wants the government to attempt political contacts with European leaders to overcome the embroilment with the Troika.

He stressed that the government’s goal is to complete the entire agreement by the end of the year without jeopardising the developmental course, as recorded in the 2015 budget”, added the government spokesperson.

Athens appears to have given up on the goal for the completion of the evaluation before the Eurogroup of December 8. The possibility of a new teleconference is slim, while uncertain remains the date of return of the heads of the Troika in Athens, with e-mail being the only remaining communication channel.

The shift towards political negotiation is evident by the activation of Antonis Samaras in the last few days, the telephone contacts of the Finance Minister, on Friday, with the head of the European department of the IMF’s Poul Thomsen and the head of the Euro-working Group Thomas Wiese, as well as the new meeting between the Prime Minister, FinMin Gikas Hardouvelis and deputy FinMin Christos Staikouras.

A senior executive of the Finance Ministry told SKAI that the deadlines have now been narrowed, but if there is political will, bureaucracies can work faster, expediting the procedures.

According to Sunday edition of “Kathimerini”, given the stalemate, Samaras seeks a round contacts with European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, so that the negotiation might get back on track and the agreement to be completed by December 19, the date of the last regular EU Summit for 2014.

Indeed, according to the report, the government camp expressed optimism that there may be positive developments towards the end of the week.

In the question whether PASOK’s intraparty disputes, with Evangelos Venizelos’ open challenge by Giorgos Papandreou, pose a risk to the government, Mrs. Vooltepsis replied that “there is no such concern”.

“The ferments within the parties do not influence the government that these parties support”, she added.