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The Troika came, saw and left

Ήλθε, είδε και απέρχεται η Τρόικα

The Troika inspection ends today, while auditors are packing. They are taking with them the bad impressions about the course of privatizations that are an integral part of the July 21st agreement on the new support mechanism.

The Troika inspection ends today, while auditors are packing. They are taking with them the bad impressions about the course of privatizations that are an integral part of the July 21st agreement on the new support mechanism.

It all points to the authorisation for the 6th installment on October 24th, despite the many problems identified by the audit.

In a meeting held between the Troika and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Paul Thomsen stated that the IMF believes that his work for the next installment is complete, and that this evening there will be a final meeting with the “European” auditors, Masuch and Morse.

Before leaving for Washington, Frankfurt and Brussels in order to prepare and deliver the final results next week, the foreign auditors are expected to disclose key points of their conclusions.

Last night, however, there were still significant “thorns in the side" of the Medium-Term plan:

- The state owes and has not paid 9 billion to private entities. The Memorandum bears as a condition the full payment of all government debt within 90 days. Within that 9 billion the Troika includes 3 billion’s worth of bonds whereby the state covered its hospital debts to suppliers. The Finance Ministry only considers the remaining 6 billion to be a problem.

- The timing of the deregulation of closed professions does not meet with Troika approval, who requests that it be expedited, especially in the transport sector, to which it attaches particular importance.

Speaking on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure Mr. Yiannis Ragkousis, The Finance Minister underlined that the transport professions will be fully deregulated by the first quarter of 2012. Concerning the approximately 350 occupations included in the directive for deregulation, they promised  that it will be complete and announced before the next review of the Greek economy support program.

- There was turmoil over the issue of privatizations which were announced but not completed. The requirements for privatizations amounting to 28 billion euros by mid-2014 are directly related to the July 21st agreement and therefore a breach in the objectives is a failure of the medium-term fiscal program.

The Troika insisted that sales of public property be accelerated so that markets and lenders alike begin to be convinced that something is moving along. The solution of long-term public property rental found the top EU, IMF and ECB technocrats in opposition.
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