Greece and its international lenders started talks on Wednesday to assess its compliance with an 86 billion euro ($98 billion) bailout deal, as dissent stirred over tax hikes and pension reforms.
Team leaders from three European institutions and the International Monetary Fund are reviewing reforms Athens adopted on Oct. 16, and future ‘milestones’ Greece must pass soon to be eligible for a payment of 3 billion euros.
The amount is part of an initial loan tranche of 23 billion euros, which includes 10 billion already disbursed to Greece and 10 billion set aside to cover bank recapitalisation costs.
Fiscal and pension reforms and recapitalising Greece’s banks were on the agenda, a Greek government official said, as delegations met at a central Athens hotel.
“It was a preparatory meeting to decide how and what we will discuss in our meetings,” Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos told journalists after a brief encounter early on Wednesday. Talks would continue throughout the day.
The left-wing government has passed legislation raising the retirement age, increasing healthcare contributions, scrapping most early retirement benefits, and clamping down on tax evasion.