Troika sees light at the end of the tunnel

Greece’s international creditors couldn’t help but be impressed by the primary surplus of the state budget worth 712 million euros that was recorded for the first six months of 2014. With the result exceeding the target by 251 million euros, it is possible that an agreement for tax cuts and a lightening of austerity measures may be reached in September.

A government source says that the government’s plan foresees:

* “Lump sum” tax reductions from October, such as in heating oil

* A first “packet” of reductions from January 1, 2015, that will incorporate the new state budget.

* The presentation or legislation of a binding time schedule for further tax reductions, possibly over a three-year period.

A source in the Ministry of Finance says that international creditors’ envoys appear interested in ending negotiations by September so that a discussion on the alleviation of Greece’s debt burden can follow.

The meeting between Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis and troika chiefs yesterday focused on Greece’s lagging efforts to privatize state assets with international creditors giving Greece the “yellow card” for these delays. They understand that the situation hasn’t helped attract investment capital but they believe that this could change in the fall as efforts are intensified.

Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis gave a presentation of the consequences of privatizations on the reduction of debt (from revenue) and the increase of the GDP (from investments) over the coming months and years.