Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Greek bail-out quest hit by legislative delay

Financial Times
September 27, 2011

The Greek government’s effort to convince inter­national lenders that it will implement new austerity measures in order to win a much-needed €8bn aid payment was dealt another setback on Tuesday.

Athens said it would not pass much of the requisite legislation until the end of October.

The Greek parliament passed the central element in the plan, a property levy to be added to taxpayers’ electricity bills, on Tuesday evening. But Evangelos Venizelos, the finance minister, told re­porters that other elements – including a huge cut to the public payroll demand­ed by international lenders – would not be presented to parliament for weeks.

Senior officials in several European creditor nations have grown increasingly sceptical of Greece’s willingness and ability to im­plement tough reforms to fill a growing financing gap in budget plans for the rest of this year and next. Some officials have insisted on waiting to release the €8bn ($10.9bn) payment until Athens has passed all measures to ensure that it meets its side of the bargain.


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