NEWS

PM looks to build on momentum

After the brief Christmas break, key government officials are due to meet at Maximos Mansion, where Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has his office, to discuss the next tasks the coalition must tackle ahead of meetings of the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund executive board in January.

Thursday’s meeting will involve several ministers and ministry general secretaries as the government attempts to set out its priorities for the next few weeks. Key among all this is the passing of the new tax code. Although the bill was submitted earlier this month, the government was unable to pass it into law before Parliament closed for the festive season.

Beyond that, there is other legislation linked to Greece’s bailout commitments which needs to be passed in the weeks ahead. But the coalition will be under intense scrutiny from the country’s lenders over the implementation of many of the measures that have already been approved by Parliament.

Despite a full domestic agenda, Samaras intends to keep up his regular contacts with foreign leaders and officials in a bid to further restore Greece’s image abroad.

On January 8, he is due in Germany to take part in a business forum organized by the Axel Springer media group. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also be speaking at the event.

After talks between Athens and Paris, French President Francois Hollande is expected to visit the Greek capital between February 18 and 20.

In between these two commitments, Samaras is expected to conduct a visit to Qatar.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, meanwhile, will also be focusing on his party’s decisive congress in February. Sources said that he wants the bulk of the preparation work to be concluded by January 10.

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