Papandreou rushes back to Greece – 6th tranche of bailout might be delayed

Prime Minister George Papandreou’s scheduled visit to USA has been postponed, according to an announcement released on Saturday. The PM’s office said in an announcement: “Given that next week will be extremely crucial for the implementation of the 21th July decisions in the eurozone and the intiatives that the country must undertake, the Prime Minister George Papandreou decided to postpone his scheduled visit to the USA.”

State TV NET and private Mega Channel, citing unidentified government sources, said Papandreou had decided to return following a consultation with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos. 
(Some are also saying that he might call for early elections, or that the reason for his return has to do with the current crisis in the East. Med. which is almost at boiling point. Click here for that story)
Meanwhile, officials from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, known as the troika, were expected to return to Athens on Monday after cutting short an inspection visit earlier this month to give Greece time to come up with measures to fill a budget gap. But the Finance Ministry said on Friday the top troika officials would instead hold a conference call with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos. At stake is an 8 billion euro loan tranche needed to keep Greece afloat as it struggles to cut its budget deficit in exchange for a 110 billion euro bailout agreed last year.

In a news conference on Friday after finance ministers met in Poland to discuss the specifics of the crisis, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker and the European commissioner for monetary affairs, Olli Rehn, said Greece needed to stick rigidly to the commitments it has made. The inspectors interrupted their visit this month after disagreements over why Greece was behind schedule in a series of reforms and fiscal measures, including cutting civil servants’ pay, speeding up privatisations and opening up the labour market. 

Greece has vowed repeatedly to do whatever it takes to stave off bankruptcy, but the government has done nothing… it is almost like they purposely want us to default. On Friday it said it would revamp the board of its statistics agency ELSTAT after two members resigned while another charged that the 2009 deficit data had been artificially inflated presented a bloated deficit. Click here for that report

Read more – ANA
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