Finance Minister G. Hardouvelis in Paris for start of “marathon”

Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis is in Paris for three-day meetings with Greece’s international creditors. The troika was represented by Klaus Masuch (European Central Bank), Declan Costello (European Commission) and Rishi Goyal (International Monetary Fund).

On the first day of talks on Tuesday, Hardouvelis did not reveal a full package of tax cuts that his ministry had prepared. Greece’s international lenders didn’t place any obstacles to planned changes to the new single property tax (ENFIA). Following the meeting he said: “We started a marathon today. We still have a long way to go. We talked about the budget’s figures and structural reforms.” Hardouvelis told journalists that the troika is aware of sacrifices that the Greek nation has had to make.

On his part, Costello said that the talks were “constructive” and meetings will continue on Wednesday with Development and Competitiveness Minister Nikos Dendias and Justice Minister Charalambos Athanasiou to discuss non-performing loans and the new bankruptcy code. Other ministers in Paris are Labour Minister Ioannis Vroutsis and Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The Greek mission is due to depart for Athens on Thursday evening after a quick review of the meetings and a press briefing. The troika’s sixth evaluation of the Greek economy is scheduled for the last ten days of September. Greek officials hope that this week’s talks will result in the release of the next 3.5 billion euros tranche of aid.

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