Greece Races To Finish Troika Deal

Minimum wage workers in Greece may see their pay frozen
Minimum wage workers in Greece may see their pay frozen

Greek officials on March 16 were pushing to meet a self-imposed deadline by the end of the day to conclude a long-sought deal with envoys from official lenders before a next-day session of Eurozone finance ministers in hopes of getting approval for a delayed nine billion euros ($12.5 billion) installment.

Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, the PASOK Socialist chief in the coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ New Democracy-led administration, earlier said he saw no reason why there wouldn’t be an agreement with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) which has eluded Greece for seven months.

Government officials were talking with the Troika on a series of contentious issues but the obstacles remained the same: 153 unfinished reforms, delays in overhauling the civil service, and a lag in breaking up professional monopolies to make Greece more competitive.

But the biggest problem that has emerged is the Troika’s insistence on scrapping automatic wage increases for those on minimum pay, which is currently set at 586.08 euros per month.Samaras has sworn he would never ever again impose austerity measures and the freezing of the already-reduced minimum wage has become a sore point and Greek officials fear it could also increase already-record unemployment.

The newspaper Kathimerini said it was told by sources it didn’t name that Samaras would give in on locking in the minimum wage for for the long-term unemployed who wouldn’t get pay hikes.

The Troika is also believed to be pushing to end restrictions on firing private sector workers, which would further add to the numbers of jobless and wants another 2,000 public workers fired through 2015, which would force Samaras to break his promise not to release any more civil servants.

Samaras is also butting heads with the Troika over what to do with an expected primary surplus of 1.5 billion euros ($2.07 billion) as he has promised to return 70 percent of it to low-income pensioners, police and the military, ahead of critical elections in May for Greek municipalities and the European Parliament which see New Democracy locked in a tight race behind the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). PASOK has become irrelevant.

But the Troika reportedly wants the sum to be drawn from the amount by which Greece overshoots its 2014 primary surplus target of 2.9 billion euros ($4.03 billion.) SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has predicted the ruling parties will be repudiated in the May elections and force early polls which will see him come to power before then. He said he would revise or renege on the Troika deals.



  1. How is it possible that Greece is “racing” when there are so many unresolved issues that can’t be solved in a day?Ridiculous reporting.

  2. Racing has been our problem. We raced to join the EU, then the EZ and then to default. We need to slow down and stop racing in circles or at least someone paint a white line on the ground so they don’t race themselves dizzy.

  3. Trying to make “friends” with someone that wants to exterminate Greeks will not turn them into a friend. Refusal to stand up against his hate rhetoric against Greeks is cowardice.

  4. I having difficulty understand it’s not okay to exterminate Greeks, but acceptable to wipe out Nationalists? It sounds a lot like ND’s isolation policy.

  5. Friends of those trying to exterminate Greeks are another way of saying enemies of Hellenism.

  6. Corruption is all over the world but the level of corruption in Greece exceeded all logic grounds…Nothing can be done in Greece without the “Fakelaki”, NHS Doctors get the “Fakelaki” to perform operations in NHS hospitals, Tax inspectors get “Fakelaki” to turn the blind eyes, Public servants get “Fakelaki” to perform their duties which they are paid for…The point is that the country is bankrupt because of the massive corruption exerted on the country and it’s people for personal interests by our corrupt Greek politicians…This is Greece a country we live in, a country full of corruption supported by parasites, a country it’s wealth is been looted by past and present politicians either direct or indirect ways, a country with a useless and worthless government unable to protect it’s citizens…Greece is a country for the crooks the criminals and the corrupts, Greece is not a country for people who do want to live, work or invest in it’s infrastructure…Greece is a country for it’s politicians to loot people’s hard earnings to support those who support the country’s corrupt politicians…The monuments of the Acropolis were connected to the biggest scandal of abuse during the Golden Century of Pericles (5th century BC)…

  7. Why my comment is removed??? Nothing wrong of saying the truth unless this website has something to cover-up…

  8. Nearly every comment you post references FYROM/Macedonia and the fear of ethnically wiping out Greeks. This is a Nationalist viewpoint and although you condemn them, your comments are not very different from ultra-nationalists GD. You support ND, but your ideology on illegal immigration and Macedonia clearly suggests much farther to the Right than ND is or is willing to go.

  9. I reject your characterization. Worrying about the ethnic cleansing of greeks isn’t “nationalism”. Its defense of our human rights.

    As for illegal immigration… the key word here is ILLEGAL. One would think that people that claim to stand for ethics would recognize our sovereignty and laws rather than disrespect them. I have never said anything racist about legal immigrants or foreigners that don’t collude with FYROM so your attempt to slander me as similar to GD is greatly unappreciated.

    How would you like it it if I analogize you similar to GD because you resort to slanderous over the top anti government rhetoric like they do? Or how about I analogize your downplaying of Skopian issue (and trying to be “friends’ with those that offensively call FYROM “Macedonia”) to the behavior of the treasonous communists that massacred Greeks for IMRO during our civil war?

    Any Greek that doesn’t see the Skopian issue as important, is a pseudo-Greek that abdicates their right to speak for the Greek people. (effectively part of another ethnic group as they have a NON-Greek identity).

  10. They’ve deleted countless posts of mine. Welcome to leftist version of “free speech”.

    The only thing that has recently slowed down their censoring tactics is me taking on the name “leftist censorship”

  11. You may reject my characterization and that is your right, but that’s how it looks from your comments (my opinion). You have a strong Nationalist belief in saving the people of Greece from weak policies of this government and perhaps the other parties towards illegal immigration. Nothing wrong with that, I do too. It’s a matter of proofing ones beliefs and prioritizing what must be done to save our country, not what is politically expedient to get past the next election while selling us out…..again.

  12. And in my opinion your characterization sounds like something a treasonous incompetent leftist would say. If you don’t’ wish to be characterized this way, I would appreciate if you offer me the same courtesy.

    Selling us out is what leftists do.

    1. Ending the government handout gravy train isn’t a sell out. Its about fiscal responsibility and trying to get Greeks off their bums to earn their wealth by creating something rather than sitting around waiting for someone else to hand it to them.

    2 The leftists are the ones support mass illegal immigration into our country. Virtually to a man all the media and ngos that condemn us every time we try to round up illegals or take control of our borders are leftists.

    3. Our leftists are such unprincipled cowards they can’t even criticize the foreigners that collude with Skopians threatening our country. (including the pseudo-human rights groups and foreign press that supported them trying to cover up their shame — by trying to narrate us out of ethnic existence)

  13. If I were a treasonous incompetent Leftist I would not be dialoguing with you. I have already stated many times my position and frequently my distain for most of the political parties and their leadership. We have a huge deficit, increasing unemployment, a banking system in shambles and an economy in disarray. Do you believe this was brought on entirely by the Left or is there a measure of responsibility that ND and you should realize. Once we get past this point we may be able to take this discussion further.

  14. And if I were a golden dawn supporter I would hardly be condemning them. If you don’t wish me to characterize you as similar to a treasonous leftist then I would appreciate the same courtesy.

    As for your point, I’ve said many times that past ND administrations also carries responsibility for our debt mess but Samaras wasn’t PM at the time. Under his watch I can see him making cuts (unlike his appeasing predecessor that recklessly spent money and increased our bureaucracy just like the socialists).

    I can also see that some Greeks don’t want to change. Rather than focus on their own productivity, many of the former Pasok and ND supporters that have moved on to other parties, are still shamelessly whining for government handouts as if nothing has happened. The solution for Greece’s economic problems first and foremost must come from the private sector not the government. As long as too many Greeks think their economic salvation is in the hands of a few distant politicians our economy will go nowhere.