As the Financial Times reports, the Greek government says that if on-going strikes prevent the government from securing a desperately needed bailout, then it's the fault of those protesters.
Andreas Georgiou, chairman of Elstat (Hellenic Statistical Agency), told the Financial Times on Friday that he could not provide the figures needed to finalise the 2012 budget because of the walk-out.AFP notes that the government is looking to secure the support of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, as it attempts to build its financial strength and its international image.
“We will miss tonight’s deadline for sending final updated debt and deficit figures for 2010 to the troika [experts from the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank] because I and my team can’t get into the building to finish the job,” he said.
He said the figures were urgently needed for the troika to recalibrate the draft budget before it goes to parliament on Monday, “but it will take another two to three days of work to complete them”.
The troika is reviewing Greece’s latest attempt to re-invigorate fiscal and structural reforms, including another €6bn of budget cuts, before deciding whether to release the next €8bn tranche of the current bail-out loan.
France will be one of the key contributors to the expanded fund while its own banks are critically exposed to sovereign debt from Greece and other weak links in the eurozone chain -- Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Meanwhile, in Athens, officials from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund are conducting an audit to decide whether to disburse eight billion euros ($11 billion) of crucial aid for Greece.
While some eurozone members have yet to approve the expansion of the broader bail-out fund, Greece is waiting on this tranche of a first bailout accord in May 2010 to pay its bills next month and so avoid default.