At its meeting Tuesday with the so-called “Troika” of bodies that manage Greece’s 240 billion euro ($325 billion) bailout program – the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – Athens will argue that this year it wants to move away from austerity and towards more growth-orientated policies.
The ultimate target is to “graduate” successfully from the bailout program when it ends in 2016 without further assistance – just as Ireland and Portugal did this year.
Symbolic of this strategy is the location of Tuesday’s meeting to kick off the country’s fifth review of the lending program: Paris instead of the traditional venue of Athens.
In return for the loan program, Greece has had to implement a series of stringent austerity measures – which have crippled the country’s economy and sent unemployment soaring. No surprise then that Greek taxpayers are not happy to see the “men in the black suits” — as Troika officials are often dubbed — parade into their hometown.
Finance ministry sources told CNBC that the Athens government asked for the meeting to take place in Paris as part of its communication strategy but stressed that the shift does not mean the government will not fulfil its obligations to the Troika.