Gov't to present policy program in Parl't

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is on Friday evening, at 6.30 p.m., to present his coalition government's policy program in Parliament, ending speculation about how the administration plans to move forward with implementing reforms.

The premier, who had his first meeting with representatives of the country's foreign creditors on Thursday, is expected to present a bold privatization program, to herald the abolition and merging of state agencies and to oppose layoffs in the public sector, proposing instead the transfer of employees to other parts of the civil service where additional manpower might be needed.

Samaras' speech will be followed by speeches by ministers, notably Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, and will spark a three-day debate which is to end on Sunday night with a vote of confidence in the government. The vote, which will be conducted by roll call, is to be preceded by speeches by each of the seven party leaders.

The procedure will finish just in time for Stournaras to travel to Brussels on Monday for a crucial Eurogroup summit where he is expected to face a grilling by his eurozone peers on Greece's progress, or lack thereof, in reforms and its priorities. 

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