Athens (MNI) – Officials from the European Commission, the IMF and
the ECB — the so called troika — are expected to arrive in Athens
early this week to begin negotiations for a new bailout plan, a Eurozone
official told Market News International.

“There is no time to waste. We are eager to begin talks with the
new government of Greece and proceed with the implementation of the
October 27 agreement, within the timeframe announced by the Eurogroup,”
the official said.

He added that he expected the negotiations to run smoothly, since
the new Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, has underlined the importance
of finalizing the new bailout program in a timely fashion.

While the official noted that a draft of the 2012 budget has
delayed due to the political turmoil in Greece, he emphasized that “a
speedy negotiation between the troika and the new government could
release the sixth [E8 billion loan] tranche within November.”

“I believe that the Eurozone will be willing to release the tranche
in the coming weeks. By the end of [the] week we will be able to say
whether the Eurogroup can convene either in Brussels or by
teleconference and approve the release,” the official said.

“I also expect the IMF Board of Directors to meet within November
and discuss the tranche. The disbursement should take place by mid-
December at the latest,” he added.

Of the E8 billion loan disbursement in question, E2.2 billion would
come from the IMF and the rest from Greece’s Eurozone partners.

–Athens Bureau, a_papamiltiadou@hotmail.com

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