Greece, Troika Move Closer to Budget Cutting Deal

World | September 20, 2012, Thursday // 10:57|  views

File photo of Greek PM Antonis Samaras

Greece and a visiting troika of international inspectors have closed in on a planned multi-billion euro package of budget cuts, according to a Greek government official.

Last week, the troika, consisting of officials from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, signed off on a little over half (or about EUR7 B to EUR7.5 B) of Greece's planned budget cuts in welfare, pensions and public sector pay.

However, the troika was skeptical of Greece's plans to slash another EUR 4 B from spending on defense, healthcare and local government operations.

That difference is now closing. "The gap has narrowed to about EUR 2 B," the Greek Finance Ministry official has said, as cited by Dow Jones. "The troika has accepted austerity measures equal to about EUR 8.5 B to EUR 9.5 B."

Troika officials are now in Athens to assess Greece's reforms progress and its eligibility to receive the next tranche of aid.

On Thursday afternoon, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is due to meet his two coalition partners to discuss further the cutbacks and may meet again Sunday to finalize the plan.

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Tags: greece, troika, budget cuts, aid, Antonis Samaras


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