Troika doubts athens savings program

Troika doubts athens savings program

According to the greek government, the 11.5 billion euro program has met with skepticism from the EU commission, the international monetary fund (IMF) and the european central bank (ECB). The governments in berlin and athens were nevertheless optimistic.

Athens strives to spare pensioners and workers further shortcuts. The state is to be slimmed down. According to greek finance minister ioannis stournaras, athens and the troika are looking for the best mix of mabbaticals. "We are trying to convince (the troika) of the correctness of our proposal," he said on television after samaras' meeting with the troika of lenders. He is not worried about delays.

The doubts of international lenders about parts of the greek austerity program do not worry the government in berlin either. "No. The federal government is not worried," said spokesman steffen seibert. It had always been clear that the work of the troika would not be a matter of a few days.

It will take a while before all questions are answered satisfactorily and all figures are available, seibert said. It is clear, however, that the troika must present a report at the end that truthfully describes the situation and the success of the commitments.

According to information from the dpa news agency, it is above all the level of revenue from the fight against tax evasion that is considered uncertain. The plan to slim down the state is also not considered credible. The mababnahme, which the troika mistrusted, added up to an estimated two billion euros.

According to dpa information, the greek financial experts have worked out a package of measures amounting to about 17 billion euros in order to be able to offer alternatives in the event of disputes.

On sunday, serious difficulties had come to light during initial talks. According to dpa information, the troika demands concrete figures on how many state employees are to be dismissed and when. Problems also arise with shortfalls of around 500 million euros in the defense department.

The austerity program is politically sensitive for the athens coalition. The two left-wing coalition partners, in particular, feared the political cost of pensioners and workers once again having to bear the main burden.

If, as the troika demands, 150,000 state employees have to leave, unemployment, which is already at 24.4 percent, will "take on explosive dimensions," a socialist politician told the german press agency on monday.

On wednesday evening, the coalition partners, the conservative antonis samaras, the socialist evangelos venizelos and the head of the democratic left, fotis kouvelis, wanted to meet again. Samaras plans to travel to frankfurt this tuesday for a meeting with the head of the european central bank (ECB), mario draghi.