Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is set to negotiate with leaders of the political parties supporting his caretaker government after he missed another deadline to secure a second aid package.
Papademos will meet with the chiefs in Athens today after delaying the meeting for a second time in as many days while Greek officials and international creditors haggle over the terms. The talks are scheduled for 3 p.m. local time, his office said. He held an unscheduled meeting late last night with the so-called troika, comprising the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to put the final touches on terms required for a 130 billion-euro ($172 billion) rescue package.
Yesterday’s delay was yet another hitch in completing a package that’s been on the table since July. The Greek government, facing a 14.5 billion-euro bond payment on March 20, is struggling to arrange financing to avert a collapse of the economy, risking a new round of contagion in the euro area.
“The situation is getting more problematic for Greece day by day,” Michael Meister, the deputy floor leader and finance spokesman in parliament for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, said today in a telephone interview. “A day wasted in failing to tackle Greece’s administrative, budget and competitive problems is a bad day.” Greeks need to reform “not for Brussels, Berlin or the IMF, but for their own sake.”