Greece’s talks with its creditors ended Sunday without a final agreement on a reforms package, but both sides said such a deal is likely to be finalized in Brussels before Monday’s Eurogroup meeting.
Poul Thomsen, the International Monetary Fund representative at the talks, and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told journalists after the talks that they were “hoping” for a final agreement before the meeting of the eurozone’s finance ministers.
At stake is an 8.1-billion-euro ($10.4 billion) installment of bailout aid that keeps debt-strapped Greece afloat. It is the first time Greece heads into a crucial Eurogroup meeting without a prior agreement.
Central to the talks is the creditors’ demand for 12,500 civil servants to be put on administrative leave by the end of the year, with the possibility of dismissal. The civil servants would be paid 75 percent of their normal salary and if, eight months after being placed on leave, they aren’t transferred to other state agencies, they will be subject to dismissal.
Among those targeted are 2,200 school-security personnel, 3,500 members of the Athens municipal police – which will be disbanded and most of its members absorbed into Greece’s police force – at least 2,000 local government employees, 1,500 teachers and several employees of various ministries.
Local government employees, including the municipal police, will strike Monday. At a meeting of Greece’s mayors, it was decided that only basic services to children and the elderly will remain open. At the conclusion of the meeting on Sunday evening, municipal employees attacked and reportedly injured Athens’s pro-reform mayor Giorgos Kaminis. Another mayor who was with him said Kaminis was punched in the head and is headed to a hospital.