Review of third Greek bailout programme begins

Athens, Feb 2 (IANS) The first review of Greece’s new bailout programme started here on Monday with meetings between the government and chief representatives of lenders, while trade unions culminated anti-austerity and anti-reform protests.

The talks were expected to be conducted in two stages, according to the Greek side. The first round will be concluded by the weekend and the second in the spring, Greek cabinet ministers told local media, Xinhua reported.

The ministers were optimistic a positive compromise that would unlock further aid to Athens would be reached by May, according to Greek national news agency AMNA.

On the agenda of discussions this time are the upcoming pension system reform, the sale of non-performing loans to foreign distress funds, and fiscal policies.

The government faces escalating protests by various trade unions representing several sectors of the economy in particular regarding the pension reform.

Creditors are pushing for new pension cuts to ensure the system’s sustainability under the third bailout agreement Athens reached with international lenders in July 2015.

Protestors on the streets of Athens and nationwide reject the reform. They claim the new hikes in contributions to pension funds and taxes in combination with further income cuts “strangle” the average household and enterprise.

A wave of demonstrations and strikes by various professionals, from lawyers and engineers to farmers and seamen, has been escalating since the start of this year.

On Thursday, the country is expected to be paralysed by the first general strike of 2016 which was called by the umbrella unions of private and public sector employees.

Meanwhile, thousands of farmers who started their protest two weeks ago, symbolically closing off customs offices in northern Greece and key national highway junctions with their tractors for a few hours every day, threaten to extend the blockades for “an indefinite period of time without prior notification” this week.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here