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FinMin: Big progress on 'prior actions'
Big progress has been made on the so-called 'prior actions' demanded by the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika of Greece's international lenders for the disbursement of an outstanding 31.5 billion euro tranche of the EU/IMF bailout loan to Greece, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Saturday evening after a broad meeting of all the government ministers involved with the "prior actions" chaired by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, adding that all outstanding matters concerning the prior actions were discussed so that Greece would be ready by Wednesday's remote conference of the Eurogroup.
Stournaras said after the lengthy meeting that he is optimistic that there will be consent among the three parties of the coalition government. Asked whether the new package of measures would be tabled in parliament in a single draft law, given that junior partner Democratic Left (DIMAR) insists that the measures be tabled in two separate bills -- one on the fiscal measures and a separate bill for the labor regime changes -- he replied: "I believe the government's decision is to table them on a single bill". According to an official announcement the Eurogroup comprising the eurozone's finance ministers will hold a remote conference on Greece on Wednesday.
The teleconference was confirmed by Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker, who added that for the time being no other meetings have been planned.
Asked what Greece would present to the Eurogroup, Stournaras said: "We will present the progress that has been made. I imagine some kind of introduction will be made by the Troika and that the progress that has been made on the policies will be presented."
To another question on the list of 89 prior actions, Stournaras said that very great progress has been made, and that they should be tabled in parliament in the coming days.
Also speaking to reporters after the meeting, Labor, Welfare and Social Security minister Yannis Vroutsis said that his ministry, which has assumed the greatest part of the fiscal adjustment, also has the task of materializing the greatest part of the legislative work. He said that every possible effort is being made to complete this task in a very narrow time margin, adding that the Greek government will be totally consistent and credible in this, too.
SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY