Greece, creditors look to revive bailout review
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek officials and debt inspectors will meet in Paris Tuesday to restart a review of the nation’s financial reforms before the bulk of the country’s bailout loans end this year.
Greece disagrees with its debt inspectors — the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank, known as the troika — on the economic outlook and whether more reforms are needed.
Last week, the government submitted its 2015 budget to Parliament without the debt inspectors’ approval, sticking with growth and deficit predictions that creditors say are too rosy. Greece insists that, contrary to what the troika believes, it will have no financing gap next year.
The talks will be held “in order for the evaluation to move ahead and to examine the framework of the day after” the bailout ends, the finance ministry said in a brief statement. An EU spokesperson said the meeting was scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Hammered by a financial crisis caused by years of overspending and poor fiscal control, Greece has relied on 240 billion euros in bailout funds from other eurozone countries and the IMF since 2010. In return, the government has had to impose deep spending cuts and tax increases, and to reform its economy under the close supervision of its creditors.
Unions are planning a nationwide general strike against ongoing austerity measures on Thursday.
With recent figures showing a return to growth, the government had said it wanted to exit the bailout completely by the end of 2014. Currently, bailout loans from the eurozone are due to end this year, but those from the IMF are to continue until 2016.
The government had hoped to complete the troubled troika review by Dec. 8, when eurozone finance ministers are due to meet in Brussels.