Meeting between Samaras and Troika
The Greek government is running again to close the deal with the representatives of the lenders until Monday so the Eurogroup can decide on the disbursement of the next tranche of 8.1 billion euros
The Greek government is running again to close the deal with the representatives of the lenders until Monday so the Eurogroup can decide on the disbursement of the next tranche of 8.1 billion euros.
The Greek side considers that the deal is on track and that solutions are being given to the pending problems. It insists that the fiscal gap of 1.9 billion euros for 2013 and 2014 will be met without new measures, apparently meaning without loss of pay and pensions but with a different distribution of weights. While the meeting between the Prime Minister and Troika is still pending, it is estimated that by Sunday there should be an agreement for the budgetary gap and the transfer of 12,500 public employees. If the deal closes the sweeping bill will be submitted on Monday to a parliamentary vote.
However Greece is preparing for the negative scenario as well, which is that the disbursement of the whole tranche might not be decided on Monday while it is also exploring ways to meet its commitments in the next three months to get the rest of the tranche.
The meeting of Samaras with Troika may be done even today. The Greek premier has returned from Berlin where he participated in an event organized by Angela Merkel to tackle youth unemployment in the Eurozone. Samaras met with his counterparts from Italy and Portugal and announced that Prime Minister of Italy Enrico Leta will visit Greece on July 29. Samaras did not meet with Merkel. The intentions of the German government were expressed in Athens via German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle who, in his meeting with Evangelos Venizelos, clarified that there is no question of reducing the Greek debt either before or after the German elections.
In his speech in Berlin, Samaras referred to the problems of youth unemployment that runs the risk of creating a lost generation. He pointed out that unemployment creates problems in the social cohesion, intensifies racism and that in Greece things get worse with the 1.5 million immigrants stagnating in the country.
Regarding the European programs for unemployment, Samaras said that the issue is not only the amount of the available funds but also the speed at which they are being disbursed, which he believes is trailing behind.
European leaders did not show enthusiasm for the 6 billion euros that were decided at last week's summit to tackle youth unemployment as they feel that the amount is small. The Greek side says that about 160-180 million correspond to Greece which should be allocated in the best way possible as the relevant programs are already runnig.
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