EU-IMF auditors to hold final Greek talks
ATHENS, Aug 2: EU-IMF auditors will hold a final meeting with Greek officials this weekend and then return to the country when spending cuts worth 11.5 billion euros are finalised, a finance ministry source said Thursday.
“A first round of talks to earmark the (measures) concludes on Sunday morning,” the source said after the auditors — from the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank — spent another two hours with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras.
“We assume that after Sunday there will be a pause in discussions,” the official said, adding: “There will be already an approximation of measures before they leave … greater specialisation is required in some areas.”
The budget cuts, applicable in 2013 and 2014, were originally to have been finalised last month but back-to-back elections postponed the decision.
They are necessary to unlock a 31.5 billion euros ($39 billion) loan disbursement by September, part of the country’s latest 130
billion euros rescue package from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday overcame reservations over the new savings from his socialist and moderate leftist coalition partners, who are wary of imposing new cuts on a population struggling after years of austerity.—AFP