Greece’s new Finance Minister, Yannis Stournaras, has admitted Athens has fallen behind in implementing the cuts and reforms demanded in return for its bailout.
Stournaras said that after he was sworn in to the job and then met senior officials from the so-called “troika” of lenders from the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Blaming turmoil from two recent elections for the slippage, Athens called on the troika to soften the bailout conditions which the government says are driving the country deeper into recession.
“The economy has gone through two difficult elections and the programme is off track in some respects, and it is on track in others,” Stournaras told reporters.
The mission from the troika is reviewing Greece’s faltering progress on fiscal adjustment and reform under a 130 billion euro bailout deal.
With the economy in its fifth year of recession and almost one in four Greek workers jobless, the government says the austerity has become intolerable.
Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has called for targeted tax cuts, a freeze on public sector layoffs, extra help for the poor and unemployed and an additional two years to cut the deficit.
In exchange, he is offering to expand and speed up the country’s privatisation of state owned firms and assets.
Cash flows back into banks
At the same time it seems Greeks became more confident in their banking system after the latest election there.
The country’s central bank said deposits are up by five billion euros since the election in mid June.
That reverses an 8.5 billion euro drop in deposits in May and up to five billion that was taken out in early June.
The slow motion bank run was due to public uncertainty about the country’s future in the euro after an inconclusive first election on 6 May.