Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Greece has finished talks with its creditors

Greece has finished marathon talks with the ‘Troika’ of creditors over its €31.5bln aid package, according to the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
“Today we finished talks on the austerity measures and the budget. We did everything possible,” the Prime Minister said on Tuesday. "Should the agreement be approved [by the Parliament], and the budget adopted, Greece will remain within the Eurozone and will go out of the crisis.”

Samaras added that Athens had achieved “significant improvement” in the deal on offer, and warned of “chaos” if the measures were rejected by MPs.

At the moment Greece is seeking to receive another €31.5bln tranche out of the second bailout package amounting €130bln. In return the country should save €13.5bln in two years, with the exact ways of reaching the target remaining vague. The so-called Troika of creditors that includes the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank may ask Greece to implement around 150 reforms within 2 years, Germany’s Spiegel said last week. This will include certain changes to minimum wage rules, as well as abolishing professional privileges.

The announcement from Samaras has caused immediate reaction from bloggers on the internet.Comments largely grin at the PM’s calling negotiations ‘successful,’ while in fact “the scale of the austerity that will be heaped on Greeks has increased by billions of euros since the measures were originally mapped out after Greece's second bailout back in March,” the Guardian blogger said.

Greece austerity package went from €11.5bln to €13.5B, €5.5bln of cuts in 2013 that turned into €9.5bln.

Labor reforms that had long remained an outstanding issue were agreed earlier on Sunday, with no detail revealed.

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