Greece's budget for 2015 has put it at loggerheads again with the "Troika" of international monitors, who are worried the plan will land it with a bigger fiscal gap than forecast.
The revised budget plan that was submitted to the Greek parliament on Friday predicts a budget deficit of 0.2 percent for next year.
The Troika—the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank— is responsible for making sure that Greece sticks to what it promised when it was bailed out. It is now worried that the budget will land Greece with a much bigger deficit next year than the government predicts and is pushing for a budget squeeze.
The Greek government failed to reach an agreement with the Troika last night during a four-hour teleconference on the amount of the fiscal gap for 2015 and a date for the return of the Troika to Athens was once again not set. A new teleconference between the two sides is scheduled for today.
The Troika seems to be asking for more tightening of Greece's public finances undermining the government's efforts to give some breathing space to cash-strapped Greeks.
The coalition government led by Antonis Samaras is trying to avoid any new austerity measures—on which its bailout is contingent— in an effort to combat the risk of snap national elections next year. The latest polls show that the anti-austerity left-wing opposition party SYRIZA would win an election, if it was held now.
Greece revised its deficit for next year to 1.3 percent up from an initial projection of 0.8 percent. The revised budget also predicts unemployment of 24.8 percent and growth of 2.9 percent for 2015.
Greece that returned to growth this year with positive GDP numbers in all three quarters expects a 0.6 percent growth for the whole year 2014.
The disagreement has already delayed the country's review by the Troika and Greece risks missing a December 8 deadline to receive the final instalment of its bailout from Europe, which is worth 144.6 billion euros.
This completion of the review would also pave the way for talks on a possible financial backstop for Greece after the European part of its bailout expires at the end of this year.
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