Government spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi confirmed earlier today that talks between the Greek delegation, headed by Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis, and the Troika representatives in Paris are being held in a “positive climate.”
“The Greek side has stressed the need for a tangible recognition of the sacrifices made by the Greek people,” she said. “The effort has been acknowledged by our partners,” she added.
On Tuesday, Hardouvelis told reporters that the Greek reform effort was “within the deadlines” set by the Troika and emphasized that the key aim was to convince creditors of the country’s credibility.
“We want to show that the program is on target, both on the fiscal and structural level,” he said. The focus of Tuesday’s talks was the budget – which Hardouvelis insisted was “absolutely on target” – while discussions on Wednesday are expected to broach an ongoing civil service overhaul and pension reform.
The Troika will meet in succession with Hardouvelis, Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias, Justice Minister Charalambos Athanasiou, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis and Administrative Reforms Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Issues regarding “red” loans, public sector layoffs, as well as the acceleration of auctions will top today’s meetings.
A quick review will take place on Thursday morning, when the initial conclusions from the assessments will be drawn, to be followed by a press briefing.
The Greek delegation is due to depart for Athens on Thursday evening.
The Troika’s sixth evaluation of the Greek economy will start in Athens, in the last ten days of September.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is keen to see what the talks with the troika yield ahead of his scheduled speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday, when he hopes to be able to offer Greeks the promise of some tax breaks.
The Greek government is planning to issue a seven-year bond in the next few months, a senior government official said on Wednesday, reflecting a newfound confidence within the country that conditions are improving.
“By the end of December there will be a seven-year bond issue,” said the official. Greece successfully issued two long-term bonds earlier this year.
Athens is also planning to swap some of its short term three-month and six-month Treasury bills with 12, 18 or 24-month notes by the end of the year, the official added.