Troika inspection to take place in two parts, officials decide in teleconference

The next troika review of Greece’s economic reform progress will take place in two phases, it emerged from Wednesday night’s teleconference session between Greek government officials and foreign auditors.

Ministry officials and representatives of the troika’s “technical teams” started talks on Thursday ahead of the scheduled return to Athens next Tuesday of troika mission chiefs who are to begin a fifth review of Greek economic reforms. The first phase of the review is expected to focus on fiscal issues and the contents of next year’s budget ahead of the scheduled submission of a draft in Parliament on October 6. The auditors are to depart after the budget’s submission to attend the annual summit of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on October 10 before returning to the Greek capital later in the month for the second phase of the inspection which wil focus on structural reforms.

Before the teleconference, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis discussed the government’s plans for exiting the memorandum without resorting to further loans from foreign creditors. The government’s aim is for the draft budget to include some of the tax breaks heralded by Samaras earlier this month at the Thessaloniki International Fair.