Greece is likely to receive an 8-billion euro aid tranche it needs to stave off bankruptcy in early November, EU, IMF and ECB inspectors said in a joint statement on Tuesday concluding a weeks-long review of the country’ finances.
“Once the Eurogroup and the IMF’ Executive Board have approved the conclusions of the fifth review, the next tranche of 8 billion euros ($11 billion) (5.8 billion euros by the euro area Member States, and 2.2 billion euros by the IMF) will become available, most likely, in early November,” the statement said.
“The success of the program continues to depend on mobilizing adequate financing from private sector involvement (PSI) and the official sector.
“Ongoing discussions on PSI together with assurances provided by European leaders at their July 21 summit suggest that the program remadiscussions on PSI together with assurances provided by European leaders at their July 21 summit suggest that the program remains fully financed,” it said.
Earlier in the day protesters blocked Greek ministries and state workers went on strike.
European Union leaders have been racing to put a comprehensive bailout deal together to try to prevent the Greek crisis from spreading out of control. Greece needs the loan to keep paying its bills past mid-November.
On Tuesday, civil servants protesting against austerity blocked the general accounting office and the Interior Ministry, carrying banners reading “Broke and Fired” and “No to Layoffs, No to cutting wages.”
The latest tranche of aid will only provide temporary relief. As the crisis worsens, the focus has shifted to a review of a second bailout plan agreed in July, with the debt-choked country is expected to need even more support as its economy keeps shrinking more than expected.
Greece, in deep recession and struggling to contain a public debt expected to hit 162 percent of gross domestic product this year, has promised sweeping austerity measures, including severe wage cuts for many public sector workers, mass layoffs and tax hikes that will hit middle class Greeks hard.
However European Union and International Monetary Fund officials have repeatedly criticized Athens for delays in implementing the reforms and euro zone ministers have postponed any reledestabilise the whole euro zone.
But the severe cuts demanded by international lenders have caused deep resentment among ordinary Greeks.
In some areas of Athens, garbage was piled high on the streets as waste collection workers went on strike, while at Greece’ biggest refiner Hellenic Petroleum, workers protesting at planned wage cuts also walked off the job.
Underlining the pressure on wage earners facing big cuts to their pay packets, monthly inflation data on Tuesday showed a 3.1 percent jump in consumer prices in September.
The European Union postponed a summit by a week on Monday to allow time for a broader solution to Greece’ debt crisis. The leaders of Germany and France gave investors some hope on Sunday night by promising a plan soon to recapitalise Europe’ banks but gave no details on what would be done.
The troika inspectors resumed their review of Greece’ finances and reforms at the end of September, nearly four weeks after suspending talks over disagreements on the steps required to put the country’ finances back on track.
Senior officials from the troika said last week they wanted more details on the impact of plans to slash the public sector workforce and increase taxes before concluding their review.
Venizelos is expected to brief ruling party PASOK lawmakers on pension cuts and a controversial plan to put tens of thousands of state workers on the road to redundancy.