Greece, Troika Find Common Ground

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (R) with Troika envoys

ATHENS – With Greece and its international lenders coming to terms over how to wrap up its bailouts early, the next step is finishing a review of unfinished reforms.

The scrutiny is hold hold while the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) waits for the government to forward plans on wrapping up long-delayed reforms including pensions and changes to labor laws.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is keen to avoid making any more pension cuts with the austerity measures he imposed on Troika orders driving down the popularity of his New Democracy Conservatives.

“We have a new legal framework that will apply from January 1… what is the point of making hasty interventions now when such changes take decades in other countries?” an unnamed government official told Kathimerini.

The coalition remains torn over changes to union regulations and measures to allow easier firing of workers, including in the private sector. The PASOK Socialists who are Samaras’ coalition partner are opposed to it so far but they have often relented over other reforms are making public pronouncements otherwise.

There are also several pending issues that relate to the public administration. These include a new wage structure, completing civil servants’ evaluation and meeting the sacking targets agreed with the Troika.

Samaras agreed to accept IMF insistence the country isn’t ready to take an early exit from its deals without a credit line and use of bank recapitalization funds as a buffer. His talk had roiled the stock markets.