Talks between Greece and creditors fall through

Major differences on fiscal and labour matters

After 4 hours of negotiations between between Greece and its creditors that ended at 5.30am in the morning, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. According to a government source, the main areas of dispute concerned a 600 million-euro difference in the the fiscal targets, while the impasse was sealed by their differing views on the labour matters. “There will be no talks in Athens. There will be a teleconference before the November 28 EuroWorking Group. The goal of reaching a political agreement at the December 5 EuroGroup still remains, but the implementation of what was agreed has to be ascertained”, said a Greek official who participated in the talks. He added that there were diverging views between the two sides on labour issues and a fiscal gap of under 600 million euros in 2017, which would be factored in at talks on a technical level, including cutting spending in the Defence Ministry and the “claw back”, which were disputed by the lenders. The same source said that the two sides had agreed on nearly all aspects on the issue of out of court settlement, some minor details to be referred to the technical task forces. The matters regarding Energy and the process of collecting taxes were still open, while the creditors were still pushing for the sale of a 25% share of the PPC, instead of 17%. The document drawn up by the institutions’ representatives on the notes of the Greek government did not include any provisions for primary surpluses for 2019-2020, but the same source underlined that the 3.5% surplus target for the 2018 budget remained.