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ATHENS – How to close a big hole in the budget is the focus of talks between Greece’s government team and international lenders.

In the first set of negotiations between envoys from the troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) and the new coalition led by the Radical Left SYRIZA, it was found the country will have less-than-expected growth and must make more savings to meet a reduced primary surplus goal.

The talks are going on at the Hilton Hotel so that Greece can avoid having the troika in the Finance Ministry and gain a public relations victory, but it means voluminous documents and personnel must go to meet the envoys.

The initial dilemma is how to close a fiscal cap seen at about two billion euros in order to create a primary surplus of 1.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, which can’t be done without cutting spending – at the same time SYRIZA said it would increase social benefits – or increasing revenues and taxes – at the same time SYRIZA said it would cut them.

The troika team said it doesn’t believe the optimistic forecast of 2.5 percent growth on the Greek side with the numbers showing that likely can’t happen.


Source: The National Herald
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