The Greek government finalised decisions over a 2011 budget plan after a meeting between Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and EU-ECB-IMF "troika" officials in Athens on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by Lucas Papademos, a former European Central Bank vice-president and currently an adviser to Prime Minister George Papandreou.

The budget will be tabled to Parliament on Thursday.

Finance ministry officials said than an additional fiscal adjustment, following an upwards revision of the country’s fiscal deficit for 2009 and 2010, would be made fully in 2011, with the fiscal deficit expected to be cut from 22 billion euros to 17 billion euros.

The memorandum, signed with the EU, ECB and IMF, already envisages measures to cut the deficit, worth 9.15 billion euros, with additional measures expected to be included in the new budget, measures aimed to save an additional 3.5-4.0 billion euros. These measures will focus mainly on further cuts in public spending and will not mean more decreases in salaries and pensions, the finance ministry reassured.

Ministry officials said talks over a third tranche of loan were “on the right track” and noted that news that disbursement of the loan from Eurozone states would be made in January “is something we knew for weeks and was linked with technical reasons”.

The same officials emphasised that the Greek state has adequate liquidity to cover its needs to the end of January and noted that most state bond maturities were in March.