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Troika Meets with Greece's Finance and Economy Ministers on Friday to Continue Bailout Talks

troika 2The representatives of Greece’s creditors will meet at 10:00 am on Friday with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis to continue negotiations over the country’s third bailout program.
The four representatives – Declan Costello from the European Commission, Rasmus Rueffer from the European Central Bank (ECB), Nicola Giammarioli from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and Delia Velculescu from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – have been working since Tuesday in order to determine the Greek economy’s long-term growth rate and the factors that affect it.
According to Finance Ministry circles familiar with the technical level talks, there was a special meeting for third party taxes. Furthermore, creditors suggested that business licensing should be expedited and simplified.
Creditors want to see the 8% solidarity contribution to incomes over 500,000 euros eliminated, claiming that the measure would lead to increased tax evasion.
The technical teams also discussed the framework for collective bargaining that will take place at the end of 2015 and the simplification of business licensing.
Regarding labor law discussions, the IMF has already sent a message to Athens: Do not change voted reforms, do not increase minimum wage, be more “flexible” in mass layoffs and strikes.
People close to the talks said that pension reforms will be a hard issue and it is possible that they become a prerequisite for the first disbursement.

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