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Continuing Pressure from Troika

Continuing talks with troika officials augur a crucial week for the government.

There is mounting pressure for Athens to conclude the latest review of its adjustment program, ahead of the 2014 budget that will be submitted to Parliament on Thursday and the meeting between premier Antonis Samaras German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday.

Troika officials met with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras this morning, after postponing yesterday's meeting, with the aim of assessing whether Athens had completed the four "prior actions" needed to secure another 1 billion euros in bailout funding and to agree on a range of measures demanded by the country's lenders as party of the current review.

As regards prior actions, the government believes that three of the four – settling state debts to the Athens and Thessaloniki water companies, the public sector mobility scheme and the changes to the code for lawyers – have been carried out.

The task the two sides are at loggerheads over is the future of the Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS). The troika wants the loss-making company to close. The Greek government wants 28 months to turn a profit before a final decision is taken.

The two sides are also at odds over the limit on home foreclosures. The troika wants an end to the moratorium on foreclosures for homes worth less than 200,000 euros to end, which the government deems politically unacceptable.