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FinMin: ‘Significant progress’ in PM Samaras-troika meeting
All the pending matters concerning Greece’s fiscal consolidation programme have been on the negotiating table during a meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the representatives of Greece’s troika of international lenders on Tuesday evening, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said after the end of the meeting.
“There has been significant progress,” Stournaras said.
The finance minister said that the troika representatives will leave Athens and will be back next week.
Troika concerned over 2013-14 fiscal gap
Earlier on Tuesday, Stournaras held a meeting at the Finance Ministry with the heads of the troika, whom he briefed on Monday's developments regarding the future of state broadcaster ERT, including decisions taken by the Council of State and the three political leaders of the coalition government.
The thorny question in the meeting, according to a high-ranking ministry official, has been the rising fiscal gap in the years 2013 and 2014 as a result of a deficit recorded by the central healthcare system EOPPY and the funding needs by Greek pension funds.
The same official said that the troika has set up a special commission at the Health Ministry to examine measures to be taken, while a similar commission at the Labour Ministry will look at the funding needs of pension funds.
Discussion between the two sides also touched upon a delay in the government's privatisation programme following the failure of a tender to sell DEPA, the country's natural gas company.
The government also pressed with a demand to lower VAT on the tourism and restaurant sectors from 23 pct to 13 pct, for a period of six months. The troika has not yet replied on that issue as it still examines data by the State General Accounting Office.
Source: Athens News Agency