EU Ired at Greek Reform Delays

ATHENS -Eurozone finance ministers are “losing patience” with Greece, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said as the government unveiled its next budget on Nov. 21 without the sign of approval from its international lenders.

The first details of the budget said that the deep recession in the economy would end next year with 0.6 percent growth to come after four percent shrinkage this year instead of the 4.5 percent originally predicted.

Greece is six years into a deep recession and even $325 billion of bailouts from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) haven’t made a dent in its staggering $430 billion debt.

The Troika foresaw a hole of as much as 2.9 billion euros in the 2014 budget but Greece insists it’s only 500 million euros and won’t require more austerity measures as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is eager not to break his promise to hit beleaguered Greeks with more tough conditions.

But Dijsselbloem had told the Ta Nea daily after a lecture in The Hague on Nov. 20 that “many finance ministers of the eurozone are starting to lose patience,” the paper reported.

A statement issued by the Troika said its representatives were leaving without a deal necessary for Greece to receive a pending one billion euros ($1.37 billion) installment but would return in December, when Greek lawmakers are expected to vote on next year’s budget.