Savings remain elusive
Coalition leaders meet Wednesday to mull cuts, which some ministers are resisting
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is due to meet on Wednesday morning with the leaders of the other two parties in his coalition government in a bid to finalize the 11.5 billion euros in savings for 2013 and 2014 that Greece’s lenders have demanded.
It seems likely that Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis will not be in a position to sign off on the cuts as some ministers were less than forthcoming in their willingness to propose areas where savings could be made during talks with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras over the last two days.
Stournaras held a second day of talks with some ministers on Tuesday but was unable to obtain the commitments to the magnitude of cuts that he needs to put together to come up with the 11.5 billion euros the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- collectively known as the troika -- have demanded.
The finance minister is expected to give the three party leaders a broad outline of the cuts during Wednesday’s meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. He will indicate how much will be saved by each department without giving further details. Sources said Samaras may seek to hold telephone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to convey to them the difficulty that Greece is having finding the 11.5 billion euros and to inform them that the government might need more time to finalize some of the cuts.
Stournaras, meanwhile, was due to meet with the heads of the troika on June 24, but this meeting will instead take place on Thursday, July 26, the Finance Ministry announced Tuesday. Before that, the economist will take part in a teleconference with fellow eurozone finance ministers. This is scheduled for Friday.
Finance Ministry sources told Kathimerini that following talks with fellow ministers on Monday, Stournaras had identified 5.6 billion euros of cuts and was trying to agree the remaining 6 billion euros yesterday. Ministry officials do not expect that these savings will have been agreed on by Wednesday’s meeting.
Finance Ministry sources could not rule out Stournaras being forced to revert to “horizontal” measures, such as salary or pension cuts, or new taxes. There is also concern in Athens that the troika may ask for supplementary measures this year to make up for the government missing its deficit target.
- Register Now
- Hawke labels Coalition's parental leave plan 'poor policy'
- Kewell dumped by Al Gharafa
- Eurovision 2013: The kitsch and the high notes
- AEK set for liquidation and third tier
- Ancient Greek should be funded by community
- Greeks abroad may help Greece and Cyprus recovery
- Raptis disputes $21m tax debt
- Thanasi you're a scholar!
- Makris envisions big things for Marina Mirage
- 8 May 2013 | 12 Votes
- 15 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 19 Apr 2013 | 9 Votes
- 8 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 3 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 13 May 2013 | 7 Votes
More from this Section
- Greek journalist arrested in Iran
- Anti-racism bill causes rift in government
- Director Oliver Stone wishes Tsipras 'good luck'
- Teachers call off strike
- EWG gives green light for next tranche
- Child stabbed on Cretan vacation out of danger
- Greece issues fines of 170 million euros in April for tax evasion
- Tsochatzopoulos insists more witnesses should be called
- Greece to receive 7.5bln in two tranches
- Greek police break up major drug ring
The plight of migrants in the fields of Greece
Mark Bouris looks at what women really want when it comes to retirement funds and superannuation.
Jim Raptis says he owes the Australian Tax Office no money and will not be paying a $21 million tax bill.
Two buildings owned by Brisbane's Greek community won't be demolished, the Council says, while the plans are underway for the restoration of historic Belvedere House
Eggplant is a versatile ingredient, especially for this traditional Greek dish that is perfect for fasting
An anti-racism bill aimed at reining in the ultra-right Golden Dawn party by imposing tougher penalties on the incitement of racist violence has caused a major rift
A 12-year-old Russian boy who was allegedly stabbed and left for dead by a hotel employee while on vacation in Crete was recovering at a children’s hospital in Athens
Philhellene Restaurant will be opening its doors come Anastasi to give Greek migrants and fellow Greek Australians away from their families a home this Easter
Nine units in Athens and Thessaloniki only have adequate methadone for program members for another week
With one of the largest Kytherian populations living in Sydney, the small Greek island has seen a steady flow of Australian tourists visiting its shores
Panathinaikos finishes sixth after downing Xanthi 3-0 in playoff
Greek Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) found that 25.6 percent of businesses and individuals whose books were checked for tax infringements were found to be in violation
Round seven of NSW League Two preview
With aid clinched, Greek government shifts to reforms
The Australian Embassy in Athens marked Anzac Day by laying wreaths at the Australian Memorial Moudros Harbour
On top of the $26 million allocated for the 2013-14 budget, the Vic government will include an extra $1.86 million over two years for multiculturalism
The wreath laying service and the ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Crete, will be held at the Cenotaph at Martin Place Saturday 18 May, at 1:45 pm
Lecture on Cultural Heritage Preservation in a Cyber World, by Dora Constantinidis, will be held as part of the exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures