The FINANCIAL -- Greek Prime Minister
Antonis Samaras will not give the traditional speech that presents the
government's agenda in the city of Thessaloniki every September, sources
from his cabinet said on Friday.
Since 1926, all prime ministers have presented their government's economic programme at the opening of the annual Thessaloniki International Fair, in the north of Greece, that takes place in early September.
"There will be no speech and no press conference," the source told AFP without providing an explanation for this change.
September will be crucial for Greece, as representatives of the cash-strapped country's international creditors are expected to be in Athens during the whole month.
The so-called troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank auditors visited the Greek capital in August, but have put their report on hold for September pending further negotiations.
Greece depends by EU-IMF bailout packages, but has fallen behind in implementing structural reforms that are part of its loan agreements owing to back-to-back elections that caused a two-month political deadlock.
Conservative Samaras, leader of a three-party coalition government, has to cut 11.5 billion euros ($14 billion) in spending to unlock the next installment of the bailout package, which amounts to more than 31 billion euros.
Samaras is to meet Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the eurozone finance ministers group, on August 22 in Athens.
As EUbusiness reported, the Greek premier will also meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on August 24, and French President Francois Hollande the next day in Paris.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who visited Athens at the end of July, said Greece must deliver on its obligations if it wishes to remain in the eurozone.