Greece to reach EU-IMF breakthrough by Monday: minister
- Published: 4/10/2012 at 12:49 AM
- Online news:
Greece expects to bridge a fiscal gap with international creditors by Monday to unblock access to billions of euros in badly-needed loans, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said on Wednesday.
A municipal worker wears a Greek flag as he takes part in a demonstration outside the Parliament in Athens. Greece expects to bridge a fiscal gap with international creditors by Monday to unblock access to billions of euros in badly-needed loans, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said.
Stournaras said an agreement would be reached by "Monday's eurogroup," a reference to a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg.
He acknowledged that the difference with creditors was still "quite big" but insisted that a deal could be reached with auditors from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).
Stournaras was positive the gap would be closed, saying: "They will come over to our views, we will go to theirs," in remarks to reporters outside the prime minister's office.
The finance minister said he had "no knowledge" on rumoured plans by European leaders to establish a broader crisis plan involving other struggling eurozone economies such as Spain.
Greece needs to gain access 31.5 billion euros ($40.6 billion) in loans from a second EU-IMF bailout programme that have been held up for several months.
Athens needs the money to recapitalise banks and repay outstanding domestic debts that now amount to almost eight billion euros.
This week, the government presented additional budget cuts worth 7.8 billion euros for 2013 to get the country's troubled fiscal overhaul back on track after delays that were exacerbated by elections this year.
But the EU-IMF-ECB, or troika, representatives are reportedly questioning some 3.5 billion euros in cuts in 2013 and 2014 that are needed to seal the deal, reports said.
A finance ministry source on Wednesday confirmed that the fiscal gap just for 2013 was in the order of 2.5 billion euros.
Stournaras has told the Thursday edition of Germany's Bild daily that he expects the auditors' report to be ready by mid-October and was confident that Greece would receive funds before the end of the month.
Contrary to reports, there was "no misunderstanding" with the troika and talks were on the right track, Stournaras said.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency