Greece, quadriga begin talks on first bailout review

The top officials of Greece’s “quadriga” of creditors arrived in Athens over the weekend for talks with the Greek government that begin Monday on the first review of the country’s bailout program.

The representatives will remain in Greece until the first phase of the negotiation is completed towards the end of the week. Finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos will head the Greek team of negotiators.

Social security is the most difficult issue on the agenda. The International Monetary Fund is pushing for cuts of at least 15 percent to pensions. It is also likely that the quartet will reject the Greek proposal for a 1.5 percentage point rise in social security contributions. The minimum number of years needed for someone to qualify for a basic pension is also a thorny subject.

Opposition to the government’s plans for pension reform is growing with farmers keeping tractors parked at key junctions of the national road network as they plan to escalate mobilizations. Moreover, self-employed professionals including doctors, lawyers, engineers and notaries, also plan further protests this week culminating in a nationwide general strike on February 4th.

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(Photo: Theophilos Papadopoulos/