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Greece prepares to wave goodbye to troika

Greece prepares to wave goodbye to troika
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Greece has had many judgement days over the last year but the latest meeting of the troika could be one of the last.

Inspectors from the EU, ECB and the International Monetary Fund have been gathering to review the country’s progress on economic reforms, and our correspondent says it could be the final gathering if Greece ends its loan dependence.

“The International Monetary Fund is the big thorn in the side of the Greek government that wishes this to be the last time they visit Athens for an audit. With the primary surplus steadily above target, Greece will try to stay away from needing further IMF help. But there’s a long way to go before a definitive decision is made,” said Symela Touchtidou.

Athens has had its successes; besides a primary budget surplus, unemployment has dipped slightly from its record high of 28 percent in June, although it remains among Europe’s highest. Crucially, its economy is set to grow in 2014 after a six-year recession.

The Greek government also remains hopeful after announcing a series of tax relief measures this month for the first time after four years of austerity. The troika will looking to see if the government can compensate for those cuts.

Any exit from bailout loans would require Greece to complete its reforms, achieve some form of debt relief, and also find its own financing in the markets. EU funding ends in December, while IMF funding ends in 2016. If Greece gives up IMF funding at the end of this year it will be foregoing 12 billion euros.