Greece at last on track to hit bailout targets

Tim Wallace
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THE TROIKA of creditors praised Greek efforts to crack down on tax evasion and corruption yesterday, and predicted the economy will at last return to growth in 2014.

The troubled country is in its sixth year of recession and is under intense scrutiny as a result of its two bailouts, the most recent of which came last year.

The creditors – the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and European Union, forming the Troika – monitor the economy and the government’s progress, only releasing more bailout funds if targets are met.

“Fiscal performance is on track to meet the programme targets, and the government is committed to fully implement all agreed fiscal measures for 2013-14 that are not yet in place, including adoption of legislation to extend collection of the real estate tax through 2013 via the Public Power Company,” the Troika reported.

“It remains important to respond promptly to any slippages that may emerge. The authorities have made important progress on measures to improve tax and debt collection, through reforms of the revenue administration to provide it with significantly more autonomy, powers and resources, and adoption of more effective and enforceable installment schemes.”

It also praised the steps that are at last being planned to recapitalise the country’s broken banking system, with the €50bn (£42.7bn) provided so far expected to be enough to cover the costs of repairing the four main banks.