European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras were locked in talks all day Thursday, as Athens tried to prove it had implemented enough reforms to qualify for the next slice of a bailout loan.
Also in town are experts from the European Central Bank, the EU and the International Monetary Fund. The “troika” is pouring over the books and has said the task will take until September at least.
So far it says it has identified an additional almost 12 billion euros of savings but the problem is reforms are taking too long to implement.
“The reforms and the changes that the Greek government keeps promising are postponed, and things have moved very slowly. The only thing that moves fast is wage cuts, salary cuts, pension cuts,” said Manos Matsaganis, a Professor of Economics and Business at Athens University.
The fact that Greece has held two general elections this year certainly has not helped. But unless Athens gets clearance from the men in suits, it is estimated it could run out of money by August 20.