"If you like your bailout, you can keep your bailout," is the message from the latest Troika mission to Greece; but there is one (or two) big 'but's... As ekathimerini reports, Greece is "very close" to a deal with the Troika for the next EUR8.8 billion with negotiations hanging on a few final things including... the troika wants Greece to extend the shelf life of fresh milk! Maybe they should just rename it 'greek yoghurt'.
Greece is “very close” to an agreement with the troika, according to government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, who was speaking ahead of the resumption of talks between the two sides on Monday afternoon.
Greek government officials are due to begin meetings with troika inspectors in Athens at 4 p.m. The Greek side is hoping to achieve an agreement in principle by the March 10 Eurogroup and to secure the disbursement of 8.8 billion euros in bailout loans by a meeting of eurozone finance ministers due to be held in Athens on April 1.
Among the issues that remain to be settled are the lifting of barriers to competition in several sectors and the reduction of employers’ social security contributions by 3.9 percentage points.
“We are very close to an agreement on both things,” Kedikoglou told Mega TV on Monday morning.
He suggested that the government was ready to make alternative proposals on the issues of fresh milk and non-prescriptions medicines. The troika wants Greece to extend the shelf life of fresh milk and to allow some drugs to be sold in super markets.