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Stournaras Unsure Troika, Greece Deal Completed Before EU Summit

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Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras extended the deadline for an agreement with the country’s creditors in talks to unlock the next tranche of international aid.

“We’ll see,” Stournaras said after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens today in response to a question by reporters over whether Greece will conclude talks in time for the EU summit on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19. His comments came in an e-mailed transcript.

The government earlier said talks with the so-called troika would be ready in time for an Oct. 8 meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Luxembourg. The troika is composed of officials from the European Union, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, which has pledged 240 billion euros ($310 billion) to Greece.

Greece’s three-party coalition government, formed after elections in June, forged an in-principle agreement on 13.5 billion euros in pension, wage and benefit cuts last week. Yesterday, Stournaras said the troika is disputing at least 2 billion euros of the package.

Agreement with the troika on the measures combining an extra 3 billion euros in revenue with spending cuts amounting to 10.5 billion euros is imperative to allow the release of 31 billion euros under the country’s bailouts. That payment is designed primarily to recapitalize the nation’s banks in a bid to boost liquidity in a cash-starved economy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net; Maria Petrakis in Athens at mpetrakis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net; Stephen Foxwell at sfoxwell@bloomberg.net