Eurozone finance ministers are allegedly for one more time frustrated by Greece. The frustration comes apparently from a disagreement over a hole in the budget. A hole with a diameter of almost three billion euro. Greek government claim, it needs further spending cuts of just 500 million euro, while the country’s lenders – the Troika – claim, the shortfall is 2.9 billion euro.
Eurozone finance ministers will meet on Thursday (14 November) with the currency union’s four bailout programmes dominating an otherwise quiet agenda.
Officials are, once again, becoming frustrated by Greece. The Greek government and its creditors are “billions apart” on the country’s 2014 budget, an EU official with knowledge of the programmes told reporters earlier this week.
The Greek government believes that it needs to find spending cuts worth a further €500 million, while the Troika – composed of officials from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – estimates the current shortfall to be €2.9 billion.
Troika officials will return to Greece on Friday, a day after briefing finance ministers in Brussels.
“The signals are not good,” the official said, adding: “I am starting to get more concerned about how we can get this review under our belt.”
The wrangling means that the next €1 billion tranche of the rescue package is highly unlikely to be disbursed before the end of 2013, as officials wait for Athens to back down.
Although Greece does not face an immediate cash-flow crisis, it is expected to require an additional €10 billion in bailout loans to cover its bills over the course of 2014. (full article EUobserver)
PS Are euro finmins really frustrated by Greece? We, Greeks, are frustrated by the euro finmins and the EU officials too. And you know what? We don’t even bother to organize meetings and shout out our frustration.