Meeting between government’s economic staff and the troika underway

Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis’ meeting with the heads of the troika on the 5th review of the Greek economy started earlier on Tuesday. Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and the prime minister’s advisors Chysanthos Lazaridis and Stavros Papastavrou also participate in the meeting. Rishi Goyal (IMF) and Declan Costello (European Commission) represent Greece’s international lenders, while Klaus Masuch (ECB) is expected to arrive in Athens later in the day.

The negotiations will be conducted in at least two phases: the first phase will last until October 8 and will focus on the 2015 draft budget (to be tabled in Parliament on October 6) and the settlement of non-performing business loans.

The second phase is expected to start after October 13 and will focus on the around 1,000 pending issues that troika has found in Greece’s memorandum as well as open fronts such as the social security system, labour issues (legislation on unions, mass layoffs), public sector employees’ layoffs for 2014, the new public sector payroll, small “PPC” etc.

The Greek side is expected to touch upon the fact that the the country exceeded the fiscal target (primary surplus) for a second consecutive year, which, according to government officials advocates for changes in the direction of tax reliefs.