Long Troika Talks Stall Yet Again

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (L) with the Troika

A week after saying it had a deal in hand, the Greek government now is admitting that negotiation with its international lenders have sputtered again over unresolved reforms and a disputed hole in the 2014 budget.

Envoys from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) are pressing Greece over 153 undone structural reforms and want to know how the government intends to close a gap of as much as 2.4 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in this year’s budget – as well as another looming over the following two years.

A government spokesman insisted that progress was being made, repeating the same line given the last six months as the talks have stalled. Nearly non-stop talks have been going on the past few days including the Troika with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and Administration Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

But, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported, he said, “We are at a point that a political decision must be taken until the Eurogroup meeting on March 10” the day when the finance chiefs from the 18 countries that use the euro, including Greece, will have their get-together and possibly decide whether to release a pending nine billion euro ($12.4 billion) installment.

Greece is surviving on the last vestiges of $325 billion in two bailouts that began in 2010 and run out this year and needs the mYoney to meet a 10 billion euro ($13.7 billion) bond payment.

There’s  a lot at stake as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, whose coalition of his New Democracy Conservatives and PASOK Socialists face a severe challenge in the May elections for Greek municipalities and the European Parliament from the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) doesn’t want to impose any more austerity measures.

He’s also said the country will have a 1.5 billion euro ($2.07) billion primary surplus and has vowed to give back 70 percent of it to those hit hardest by pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions to stop the bleeding of disaffected voters from his government.

ANA said that at 3 a.m. on March 3 a minister it didn’t identify felt the two sides were getting closer after sorting through technical details but that “things are very tough” and that there is still hard work to be done before March 10.

Another minister called additional “thorns” in the negotiations, issues regarding three ministries, Administrative Reform (availability – layoffs), Health (non-prescription medicines) and Labour (changes in labor regime).

The meeting with the Troika started on March 2 at 8 p.m. after a small Cabinet meeting at the Finance Ministry led by finance chief Yannis Stournaras and including Mitsotakis, Hadzidakis, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Justice Minister Charalambos Athanassiou.

An Administration Reforms Ministry top official said that, “We remain adamant to our positions. Nothing has closed yet, we will meet again. It will be hard to finish by Friday. If we who have a simple job can’t agree, you can imagine what it’s like for other issues.”

The Finance Ministry insisted there’s no disagreement over the budget although it was reported the Troika doesn’t want Samaras to distribute the surplus to punished workers, pensioners and the poor as its first priority is banks and investors.


  1. Right right.Saying my “days are numbered” was actually a friendly greeting not a death threat by a treasonous leftist thug.,

    As for your retarded claim I am “slavic”… I would note again you are the one that ridiculously spent hours yesterday arguing there were no Skopians trolling this website (pawned over and over again with overwhelming evidence you claim was false).

    You NEVER say anything to condemn the Skopians that troll this website. Instead you claim “paranoia” like the Skopians do. That either makes you a Skopians yourself or one really incompetent cowardly treasonous lazy Greek.

    What are you doing on Greek Reporter? Shouldn’t you be out terrorizing our streets with riots with your beloved leftist thugs for “democracy” and “human rights (i.e. government handouts)

    Blakas, prothoti kai debeli.

  2. You have to remember virtually all the bailout money is actually leaving the county to bailout foriegn creditors. They give more money not for Greece but because they want to prevent a messy default.

    That said, It was Greece’s fault this happened (certainly not the Germans like the communists argue). The specific policians that hid our debt or overspent carry part of the blame. However our politicians aren’t only to blame like exploitive populists argue. Nearly 40% of our population was cheating is some form or another in paying their taxes.

    I personally support austarity (which is just about trying to finally balance budgets) but about a third of our country are crazed far leftist fanatics (communists are consider “moderates” in Greece) that are still demanding government handouts. The irony is Pasok and ND (the parties that overspent) are actually doing the right thing by supporting cuts. Its their former supporters that have moved on to extremist parties like Golden Dawn and Syriza that are the problem)

    They seem to believe they are entitled to all sorts of government handouts when our economic output simply does not justify the level of expenditure they demand. (e.g. Germans have an export industry to pay for their services, we produce for little) Until we break this mentality, the thugs (both on the far right and left) will continue to terrorize our streets with violent strikes and riots .

    One of the reasons I spend so much time slamming the left, isnt’ because I support GD (I don’t) Its because since GD gets all the attention by foreign press, leftist extremists have been allowed to run wild in Greece. (there probably double the number of leftist extremists as their are rightwing ones)

  3. I say hatred because that’s what you feel for everyone who disagrees with you on anything or doesn’t play your “Skopian Game”. You call us bigots, racists, extremists. I’m not playing. You have been caught out. Deal with it.

    I don’t take you seriously either so who cares?

  4. How long before I get deleted again depends on how long the leftist thugs that claim to stand for “free speech” decide they don’t support the free speech of those that criticize them. Leftist thugs like yourself of course cheer on leftist censorship like a good little communist thug.

    “It’s time to put partisan politics and pride aside. The current government,coalition, and status quo is NOT the answer. If syriza wins then so be it.” – ” thes8niki plugging Syriza

  5. Actually it is you that has been called out as a bigot. Oh pray tell rather than speak in vague accusation of “Skopian Games” explain what I’ve said that is untrue?

    1. Skopians (and a few foreign nationalist extremists ) come here and make racists rants about Greeks… and you say absolutely nothing to condemn them? Where are your lectures to them about racism when Greeks are the target? Are only Golden Dawn the only racists in the world? Can’t greek been the target of bigotry sir?

    2. Skopian apologists (including smug human rights groups that lectured us on this issue) try to downplay their sudden transformation into ancient macedonians and irredentism. (aka BIGOTRY)

    3. Illegals flood our country and we are turned into the perps for being hostile towards them when every country in the world deports illegals? (aka BIGOTRY)

    I call people bigots only when they display moral inconsistency in their application of ethics. Show some moral consistency toward those that make racist attacks against Greeks so I might believe you are something more than just one more self-righteous patronizing anti-Greek bigot.

  6. Right. Right. You keep claiming to “own” me but I’m the one that keep showing that you have no integrity when you debate. You are just one of the those people that is always right even if you are shown indisputable evidence you are wrong.

    1. You ridiculously claimed there were no Skopians trolling this website. A lie.

    2. You claimed you never said words of support for Syriza. A lie.

    3. You even try to distract attention from the above points by calling me a “Slav”. Another lie.

    About the only thing you do on this website is rant for government cuts and obsess over me. You’ve spent more time on this thread DEFENDING SKOPIANS by trying to reduce our legitimate concerns to “paranoia” (the exact line Skopian propagandists use)

    You couldn’t care less about Greece. If you are a treasonous pseudo-Greek leftist or a Skopian I can’t say but either way you are rabidly antihellenic.

  7. Why would I respond to TediUSA? He’s obviously a nutcase with nothing better to do than wind you up. It’s pretty much only you that bothers to respond. I also do not respond to your imaginary Skopians.

    And what do I care whether I am “absolved” by you? Are you the official moral caretaker here?

    I would one day like you to able to read my comments on various articles and respond to what I actually say rather than to some agenda that you have. I wish you could appreciate how annoying it is that you feel that I should have to justify my every comment with my views on FYROM or immigration.

    Just read my comments and leave out the agenda. I have stated here my view on FYROM and on immigration. That’s enough now.

  8. Where are all these thousands of posts? I read here every day (the Greek News section) and I don’t see any.

  9. There you go again. Lack of consistency. You have no problem responding to GD nutcases. (over and over again I might add)

    As for you claim that of my “imaginary Skopians” its absurd. There are thousands of posts here by Skopians. Just one more example how you suffer from selective blindness. (i.e. prejudice)

    You are not alone by any means. Billions of people that decided to ridiculously called obvious “slavs’ “ethnic Macedonians” seem to be having a case of selective amnesia and vision problems with regards to FYROM’s change into “ancient Macedonians” and irredentism. (i.e. prejudice)

    You think I’m just a blind nationalist. I’m not. I am first to criticize things I see wrong with Greece (like its fiances, like our communist and fascist basket cases) but on issues like illegal immigration (effectively amounting to neo-imperialist invasion) and Skopian issue — Greece is in the moral right. We have moral right to defend our homeland from those that are threatening it. We have a moral right to condemn bigots that lecture us on “human rights” then stay near dead silent about FYROM’s behavior.

  10. This is not a view on free speech. It’s a statement about the legal obligations of a private website. Anyone can be deleted, banned or moderated on a private website. Actually, they have a legal obligation to disallow offensive, racist, libellous or slanderous comments and can be prosecuted for doing so.

  11. “If syriza wins then so be it”

    How on earth can you possibly claim that this is someone who supports syriza? Read the statement again.

    “If syriza wins then so be it”

  12. You don’t remember handles like OPA? Turkoglu? Variations of name Kosta? Macdonska Acropolis who calls us “fake Greex’ from just yesterday? Countless new posters that have showed up out of the blue claiming in their handles to be “Canadians”,USA, Germans (i.e. anywhere but FYROM) and immediately start spouting FYROM talking points and demonizing Greeks? Do you understand many Skopians are in in unofficial war with Greece? That they are engaged in conscious propaganda on a mass scale? (fully supported by their government)

    When you try to paronizingly claim there are no Skopians posting here, or try to downplay this Skopians issue, it only re-enforces you have very real prejudices. (although you don’t seem like an ill intentioned person so perhaps you don’t realize it simply because mass media that decide to call them “Macedonians” don’t talk about it)

  13. Right. Right. he’s actually a free market activist.. that tells us to put aside our partisan politics to stand behind a communist run party.

  14. How can you claim its not? Someone that strongly opposes communism and supports free markets (as I do) would be horrified but such a suggestion.

    If he had said “”It’s time to put partisan politics and pride aside. if GD wins so be it”. Leftists (as you obviously are) would have rushed to call him a fascist.

  15. “Greece has lost during this crises in terms of relevancy, respect, and reputation”

    Greeks are certainly the target for trash talk these days but too many people go too far with it. Germany massacred millions AND defaulted. Greek defaulted and people act like we are the most horrible villains in the world. Furthermore the loss of respect hasn’t only been one way, Greeks have also lost respect for those that keep trash talking us. Or lecture us on ethics as if we are all children… then go on to look the other way with FYROM.

    I think at least some of our government have started to realize some of our former allies are out to delete our very identity (trying to bury their mistake for recognizing obvious frauds in FYROM) and are starting to look east rather then west for defense. Russia is clearly looking for friends. I’m sure their nuclear weapons aimed in the right manner will be sufficient incentive to respect our borders. China’s nuclear weapons even makes everyone not recognize name “Republic of China”. Amazing how nuclear weapons changes some people’s alleged ethics.

  16. Like a typical leftist you lecture about how you support free speech by you keep trying to silence the free speech of those that disagree with you.

    No they don’t have an obligation to delete racist comments or even slanderous ones. Take the US for an example. You see anything about ban on racist or hate speech? The words aren’t even mentioned.

    Someone that made a slanderous comments could certainly sue someone to have words removed but in most cases they would be ridiculed for going to that extreme. They are words dear not bombs. Too bad leftists like you love to silence free speech.

  17. You have confused the legal right to delete speech with the ethics and logic of the situation.

    x claims to support y
    x has a legal right not to support y
    x choses not to support y when things going their way.

    Free speech is free speech is free speech.


    Please read again and TRY and understand. It depends on who owns the company and what their policy is. For example, If a company has an anti-racist policy and an employee breaks it, they can be fired. Also different countries have different policies. Greece has hate speech laws.

    Don’t ever call me “dear”. It’s patronising and pathetic. But given your English comprehension skills, perhaps, you didn’t know that.

  19. You are wrong on multiple levels. For one, although this website is called Greek Reporter — its based out of the US. Feel free to show me a a US law against “hate speech” and “speaking racist”. As for Greece, how many people do you think have been charged for writing alleged racists hate speech? The countries that strictly enforce the sort of laws you endorse are places like Saudi Arabia (where mullahs get offended if you draw a picture of mohammed). You really have no respect or understanding of free speech. The key concept here is words are not explosives or tanks. They are words.

    You say you don’t like being spoken to in a patronizing fashion. Imagine that.

  20. “You say you don’t like being spoken to in a patronizing fashion. Imagine that.”

    No-one does.

    Look, I have read reams racist and hate speech crap on this website. I reported ONE person for ONE comment which called for people to be killed.

    Responding to and challenging racist comments and hate speech is not the same as calling for people to be banned. It is not infringing on their free speech. It is what people do though when you challenge or disagree with them… accuse you of denying them their right to free speech.

  21. Give me a break. You keep going on and one about ‘racism” and hate’ much for the same reason as leftist troller thess8niki does… to try and silence me. (i.e. step on my free speech using some vague accusation of “hate” and “racism” as a method to squash me)

    Your problem is that you think “racism” and “hate’ has a precise meaning (i.e. the one in your head). In practice these terms are conceptualized differently by different people. This is why different countries handle the issues in different ways (usually in defense of their own cultural or policial norms)

  22. Not everything here on this website is about you and yet again you have made this discussion all about you!!! I am trying to silence you because you’re boring, you say the same things on every article, you think everything’s about you and… you’re boring.

  23. How have I made it about me? I’m taking about issues not myself. You are the one that responded to my post. Dito for Thess8niki. (who hounded me for hours yesterday) If you find me boring, don’t respond. Simple solution.

    The Greek people are currently under threat of ethnic erasure by people that claim to support “human rights”. Some Greeks already know this but not enough do (the leftists are asleep at the wheel because they just parrot whatever they read in “news” sources like the Guardian and NY Times. I will keep hammering home to Greeks as long as this is the situation.

  24. Once again my friend here has to pepper his responses with his favorite obsession–FYROM. Always this non-sequitur to the subject. What he seems to interprets as respect, relevance and reputation and their formation by others is might–military might.

    If you read my comment above–(with which at least 6 people agree), these positive opinions about an individual or a nation are gained by character and honesty–staying with agreed to promises, not tricky or “clever” subterfuge.

    My point was simply this. No need to make it more complicated, feel hurt or threatened or bring even into one’s personal obsessive compulsive issues, as he does here.

  25. You are negative stereotyping me again. I respect peaceful discussion most of all. Force is abhorrent. However when words fail, force is the final decider.

    Give your lectures about nationalism to the Skopians who are teaching their schoolchildren they are descendents of ancient Macedonians and that Macedonia Greece is occupied. (while their disgusting antihellenic apologists desperately try to downplay their identity change and irredentism to hide their shame for ridiculously calling obvious slavs “ethnic” Macedonians.

    Someone that truly cared about ethics and human rights would not put their ego’s difficulty in admitting a mistake ahead of their professed beliefs.Someone that truly had a moral compass, would not behave like a bandwagon jumping mindless sheep Just emulating the beliefs of what is currently fashionable is not ethics.

  26. “these positive opinions about an individual or a nation are gained by character and honesty–staying with agreed promises, keeping one’s integrity”

    Right. See below how a certain nation (armed with thousands of WMDs itself) are demonstrating their “integrity” and “promises” towards Greece.

    “This (US) government considers talk of Macedonian “nation”, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonia “national consciousness” to be
    unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece” – US State Department Dec, 1944 (Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram – 868.014/26)

  27. PALI?

    OK, so if the U.S. State Department supports your tirades and most Greeks are incensed by the Macedonian issue and its bastardization of history, who are you worried about besides the misguided citizens of FYROM who are only ridding on Greece’s history to promote their tourism industry?–and seem to be succeeding in this by the way–where are Greece’s touristic ads on the international news media?). CNN carried ads for “Macadonian Tourism” daily.

    But do you really think NATO would allow the “evil Skopians” you are obsessed with to invade mainland Greece and claim any of its territories? The Slavs are living there now–are you going to change that? The worlds history is a tapestry of migrations, wars, losses and and victories. Should California be called the “Former Territories of New Spain” or “Aztlan,” deferring to the indigenous race of people who occupied and originally thrived in the western regions of the continent of North America?

    Obviously some otherwise intelligent people harbor paranois which severly affect their outlook on practically every other issue in life. Time to look in the mirror.

  28. PALI?
    OK–so if the U.S. State Department supports your tirades, and most Greeks are totally incensed by the Macedonian misrepresentation of history–who are you worried about? Do you really believe NATO would allow the “evil Skopians” you are so obsessed with to invade mainland Greece and take any of its existing territories?

    It’s obvious FYROM is capitalizing on Greece’s ancient history to enhance their tourism market–and unfortunately doing quite well, by the way. (Where is Greece’s international touristic ads this season–we see ads for “Macadonian Toursm” daily on CNNi.

    The Slavs are living in that region now–what are you going to do, remove them? Annihilate them? Don’t underestimate people’s ability to understand and appreciate true history. But the world is a tapestry of migrations, wars, victories and losses–ever evolving.

    Should California be called “The Former Territories of New Spain”? Or even “Aztlan” in deference to the original peoples who occupied and once thrived in the western regions of the North American continent?

    It’s time to put a little water with your wine on this issue. And refrain from being representative of otherwise intelligent people who allow one paranoid element to totally dominate their lives and thinking.

  29. a. We have a right not to be perpetually harassed by our neighbours. Millions of Greeks are not being “paranoid” on this issue. Those that claim it is “paranoia” are ridiculous. FYROM teaches their schoolchild that Macedonia Greece is occupied territory and that they are descendents of ancient Macedonians. THis is unacceptable behavior.

    b. They are not “Macedonians” (mostly ethnic Bulgarians). It some Greek citizens calls them “Macedonians”, when 99 percent of country stands against this naming, they are by definition treasonous.

    c. NATO has already betrayed us by calling them “macedonians” when they know from their own cold war records they are not Macedonians.

    d. Most countries have no problem not recognizing the “Republic of China”s name. If they wanted to they could indeed perpetually use the name “FYROM” until they changed the name.

    e. FYROM doesn’t even need to exist. If NATO wanted to they could have pushed for its partition between Bulgaria and Albanians but they decided instead to betray their own allies.

  30. Rebuttals:
    a. A lot of people have prejudices against other nationalities–you might personally know a few. The world is full of such hatreds and intolerance. Countries have a right to teach what ever they wish in theor national curriculum–let the rest of the world judge them if they think they know better, but it remains their right to create curricula.
    b. Any Greek citizen can believe what e wishes, according to the Greek Constitution–having a different opinion of yours does not make them fundamentally treasonous.
    c.Your opinion totally
    d. Sorry but most of the world sees this name issue as a moot point. A tempest in a teapot.
    e. How arrogant of you to declare a national sovereign state “does not need to exist.”Didn’t Hitler use phrases like that?

    Finally anyone who does not see the purpose of NATO in a world ready to annihilate itself needs to stop reading his own teams propaganda and get some balance in his life.

  31. a, Wrong. Germans have no right to teach Nazism is ok. Poles have no right to claim themselves “Ethnic Bavarians”. Mexicans have no right to declare Texas their occupied homeland.

    b. Wrong again. The word treason exists for a reason. It describes behavior that undermines the security of a nation for the sake of another. Any Greek citizens that calls FYROM “Macedonia”, in the face of overwhelming evidence of irredentism, is by defitinition treasonous.

    c. Wrong again. The US government itself (and British) used to say there is no such thing as en “ethnic Macedonians”. Unless you are prepared to accuse them of genocide attempt, you must logically accept there is no such thing as an “ethnic” Macedonian. (an “ethnic” Group created entirely out of state propaganda)

    d. Most of the world believe in sundry gods too. What “most” believe is not an argument of someone that understands basic reason.

    e. FYROM is a fabricated country built entirely on fraud. FYROM has no problem not recognizing the Republic of China. Why not bring up “Hitler” for them?

    Finally, if you dont’ believe in propaganda as you claim, stop apologizing for the irredentist propagandists of the former Yugoslav region of Vardar. You continued hypocrisy and single sided demonization of Greeks on this issue, in the face of overwhelming evidence of fraud and irredentism in FYROM, only demonstrates you have severe prejudices towards Greeks. I can assure you the modern British would never tolerate France have a school curriculum claiming themselves ethnic English and England “occupied”.

  32. a. Wrong. Only a minority of Greeks support GD and not on a state sponsored level. In the US they have the KKK. Does that make Obama a supporter of the KKK? In FYROM their irredentism is on a states sponsored level.

    b. Because our policians our unprincipled (a point you yourself argue) doesn’t mean they treason isn’t going on. Anyone that calls Skopians Macedonians in Greece, in face of irredentism, is involved in treason. Ancient Greeks did indeed use dialogue. In case you don’t know, they also used force at times too… much like the modern British and American use force when they feel dialogue has reached its limits.

    c. Your argument that the Slavs are “ethnic” macedonains because they;ve occasionally occupied by them is like claiming the descendents of imperialists from modern Britian living in America are actually ethnic Apache.

    d. The point was not about religion. The point was about your irrational attempt to use “most people” as an argument.

    e. You attempt to downplay FYROM obvious state fraud is what’s narcisstic. Like all of FYROM’s apologists, you dishonerably and disgustingly refuse to acknowledge obvious state propaganda and irredentism on a massive scale to hide your shame for calling them “macedonians.

    Look.. I am not your “pal”. I am not pals with people that collude with wannabe ethnic cleansers of Greeks. Those that continue to apologive for the former Yugoslavians are evil.