Debt Talks Begin With Bailout Creditors: 9 Days for a Deal



greek_finance_ministryThe first meeting between Greek government delegates and Greece’s bailout creditors from the EU and the IMF took place on Tuesday to discuss the reforms and cutbacks that creditors have demanded.  Energy Minister George Stathakis participated in the talks despite the fact that he has changed ministries in the recent government reshuffle. The Greek minister said that a time schedule had been set and both sides would be able to achieve an agreement within the outlined time frame.

The heads of the bailout creditors will remain in Athens for nine days, with the goal of reviewing Greece’s progress in keeping to its economic terms ahead of the Euroworking Group meeting on November 28. While Stathakis spoke of a tight schedule, he also said that it was realistic to achieve.

At the first meeting, the different parties did not touch on the fundamentals of the negotiation but did make a general outline of the plan that will be followed. Stathakis has changed ministries following the government reshuffle, however, he will still be present during negotiations to ensure continuity.

A meeting scheduled on Tuesday afternoon between Troika and government representatives focused on the new assets fund and changes in labor law.

Greek finance ministry sources state that the first meetings in the latest round of negotiations took place in a cordial climate with the participation of Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou, Alternate Economy Minister George Chouliarakis and Stathakis.

Greece’s left-led government wants to have the talks wrapped up by a December 5 meeting of finance ministers from the 19-country eurozone. Greek officials hope the ministers will back some sort of debt relief.