Thursday, August 18, 2011

EU, IMF audits Greece finances

Greece Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos

Source: Press TV

The EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have begun auditing Greece's finances to determine if it should receive the sixth tranche of funds under its EU bailout package.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will hold talks with EU, IMF and European Central Bank officials mostly to explain the failure of Greece to sell off state assets meant to bring in a revenue of EUR 50 billion by 2015.

Since last year, the EU and the IMF have granted Greece two rescue packages worth over EUR 269 billion (over 380 billion dollars), in return for tough austerity measures.

The measures, which included the cutting of public sector salaries and pensions, increasing taxes and overhauling the pension system, sparked nationwide protests in Greece.

The protests turned violent at times, leaving scores of protesters and security forces injured.

The bailout funds will be given to Greece in installments following regular audits. About EUR 65 billion has already been disbursed.

Europe has been vexed by financial crisis as the 17-nation euro zone has been plunging into the abyss brought on by fissures between strong economies such as Germany, and weaker ones such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal, which risk being engulfed by unprecedented levels of government debt.

So far, Greece, Ireland and Portugal have received bailout packages from the European Union.

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