Although Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos denied it, talks over Greece’s second bailout were suspended Friday when officials from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union could not agree with Athens over why the country’s deficit cut targets have not been met.
Without achievement of those goals, the next tranche of funding in the package could be held up.
Officials from the IMF/ECB/EU believe that Greece is not pushing hard enough on financial reforms that are a condition of its bailout, Reuters report. Athens, on the other hand, insists that its failure to meet targets is a result of a worse-than-expected recession that has driven its economy further into the hole.
The Greeks and bailout officials also cannot agree on the amount by which Greece has failed to meet its targets, with Athens perhaps predictably citing a lower figure than the international representatives.
A source close to the inspectors said the 2011 budget deficit would total at least 8.6% of gross domestic product; the target had been 7.6%, Reuters said. A Greek government official, however, was cited as saying that the deficit would be 8.1–8.2% of GDP.