Wednesday 13 December 2017

Fears grow that Greece has missed key fiscal targets

Angeliki Koutantou and Annika Breidthardt

GREEK hopes of averting default dimmed over the weekend as fears grew that the country may have missed fiscal targets set by its lenders, while eurozone policymakers bickered on how to respond to the deepening crisis.

The country's finance minister denied a report in German weekly magazine 'Spiegel' that international inspectors will report that Greece failed on all its fiscal targets -- a condition for getting a key, fifth tranche of a €110bn bailout.

"Negotiations continue and will be completed in the next few days. We have every reason to believe the report will be positive," George Papaconstantinou told Greek Mega TV.

But pressure continued to pile on the socialist government, which saw its popularity fall behind its conservative opposition for the first time since 2009.

Echoing earlier views from the IMF, ECB board member Juergen Stark said Greece's privatisation programme could raise six times more than the €50bn planned.

"The Greek government owns real estate. Experts estimate the sales potential (from privatisations) at up to €300bn," Stark told German newspaper 'Welt am Sonntag' yesterday.

The ailing eurozone state, whose debt burden stands at around €330bn, needs to secure support from opposition parties for fiscal reforms before the EU and IMF will free up more cash to plug funding gaps in the next two years.

Irish Independent

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