PM upbeat on aid prospects

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Prime Minister Lucas Papademos suggested on Thursday that the crucial sixth tranche of funding on which Greece’s solvency depends is probably in the bag as the International Monetary Fund welcomed a letter from New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras expressing support for a new debt deal for the country. Addressing the cabinet of his coalition government, Papademos said he believed Samaras’s letter — which was sent to leaders of the European Commission and European Central Bank as well as the IMF — was “satisfactory,” that “there would probably be no problems” and the 8-billion-euro tranche of aid would likely be released by December 5, sources said. A few hours later, the IMF issued a statement welcoming ND’s support for the key objectives and policies of Greece’s economic reform program, which was agreed in Brussels on October 26 as part of a deal foreseeing another 130 billion euros in loans and a 50 per cent write-down on Greek debt. The IMF also welcomed ND’s commitment to “ensuring that any changes to policies that it might suggest will be consistent with the basic framework of the program.” This statement was interpreted by sources in ND as a step toward the adoption of alternative policies that Samaras has been promoting. They expressed satisfaction even though a final decision is not expected until a Eurogroup summit in Brussels on Tuesday. Papademos said all the additional letters that the country’s foreign creditors have demanded – from the leader of socialist PASOK, George Papandreou, the head of the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Giorgos Karatzaferis, and Bank of Greece Governor Giorgos Provopoulos – must be ready by Tuesday. Papademos — who also spoke to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone on Thursday — set out an ambitious action plan for the Cabinet, aimed at pushing through all outstanding reforms Greece has promised to implement, including opening closed professions. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has been charged with wrapping all these tasks into a draft bill. Estimates regarding how long it would take to tie up all loose ends and resume talks with Greece’s foreign creditors varied. The most optimistic said it could be done by the end of January but speculation mounted that snap polls would be put off beyond the provisional date of February 19. Source: Kathimerinilast_img

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