Five-hour talks between FinMin, 'troika' reps

Government Vice-President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos completed a five-hour meeting with the visiting heads of an EC-ECB-IMF "troika" delegation on Thursday, with another meeting expected later in the evening.
The lengthy contacts are part of regular troika inspections of the Greek economy, all ahead of the disbursement of the sixth tranche of a loan to Greece, worth eight billion euros.
Finance ministry sources said the troika representatives insisted in strictly adhering to all agreements envisioned in the Medium-term Strategic Framework, including immediate privatisations, implementing a unified pay scale for civil servants, merging and abolishing several public sector organisations, curbing certain social benefits, liberalising labour relations law, reducing supplementing pensions, combating widespread tax evasion and fully opening up so-called "closed professions".
The minister has stated that there was no talk of additional tax measures during his discussions with the representatives, but only adhering to the agreed programme.
Venizelos said the government was expected to present, in the next few days, its decisions over a unified pay scale in the public sector, changes in labour relations, opening up professions and the abolition of certain public sector entities.

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