Athens Digest 08.10.2018

• Tsakalotos to make Greek fiscal case at Bali IMF-World Bank meetings

• Dozens of migrants set up camp on iconic square in Thessaloniki

• Macedonia deal made in exchange for pension cuts suspension, says former PM Samaras

# Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos will fly this week to Singapore and Hong Kong before arriving in Indonesia on Friday to attend the annual IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Bali where he will make the case for Greece’s non-implementation of pension cuts. He will also seek support for the government’s counter measures included in the draft budget that will be submitted in Brussels on October 15. According to reports, Tsakalotos may meet with IMF chief Christine Lagarde. During his meetings in Singapore tomorrow and Hong Kong on Wednesday, Tsakalotos has scheduled meetings with investment groups as part of the effort to lure Asian capital into the country.

# The main square of Thessaloniki, the second largest Greek city, has in recent days been transformed into a makeshift camp by dozens of undocumented migrants from Iran and Iraq. According to some reports, the migrants set up camp on the emblematic Aristotelous Square in the hope they get arrested so they can apply for asylum. Local media said that the migrants were transferred to Thessaloniki from the Greek-Turkish border by people traffickers at a rate of EUR 2,000 per person.

# Greece’s former conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has denounced the Macedonia name deal as a government sellout in exchange for the EU to agree to a suspension of pre-planned pension cuts on January 1. “They (the government) gave up everything solely to win a six-month extension to implement the new pension cuts,” Samaras said referring to the name deal signed in June by Greece and FYROM. He made his remarks in a speech at a conservative event on Sunday morning in the town of Kavala in Greece’s own province of Macedonia. Samaras, a staunch opponent of any deal that will allow FYROM to use the term Macedonia, also predicted future tensions in the Balkan country between its Slavic and Albanian ethnic communities.

On Our Radar: Two Athens bars listed among the world’s best
Two Athens bars have made the top twenty of the “World’s 50 Best Bars” for 2018, based on the selection of some 500 international experts. According to the list, compiled by William Reed Business Media, the “Clumsies” in downtown Athens ranked 17th, slightly ahead of the also centrally-located “Baba au Rum” in 22nd. The Dandelyan in London topped the list as the world’s best bar.