ND leader Samaras meets with 'troika' reps

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday met with the three high-ranking representatives of the EC-ECB-IMF "troika", who arrived in Athens this week for another round of talks focusing on the state of the Greek economy and pending reforms.
The meeting, which lasted for nearly an hour and a half, was held at ND's main office. No official statements were made by the "troika" inspectors -- Poul Thomsen of the IMF, the ECB's Klaus Masuch and EC representative Mattias Mors -- or by ND officials.
Nevertheless, according to sources from within the main opposition party, ND cadres at the meeting reiterated the party's positions that the current Memorandum -- signed by the Greek government and the EC-ECB-IMF lenders -- merely prolongs the ongoing recession in the country, while bumping up tax rates will have negative repercussions on the "real economy" without achieving a hoped-for hike in state revenues.
"In total, the applied policy (by the Greek government) will increase and not decrease the budget deficit and external debt," an unnamed ND source stressed.
Party officials reiterated ND's standing position of support for the stated goals of reducing the deficit and debt, but via a different "economic mix", one aiming for a quicker exit from the vicious cycle of recession and international supervision, as they said.
Troika officials were reportedly quoted as saying that their contacts with the Greek government have not been concluded, therefore, they have not as yet ascertained a complete picture of the financial situation.

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