BUSINESS

EWG authorizes 13 prior actions

SOTIRIS NIKAS, ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

TAGS: Finance

The Euro Working Group on Thursday authorized the list of 13 prior actions Greece is required to fulfill ahead of the next review by its creditors for the disbursement of the subtranche of 1 billion euros that is still pending.

Senior officials from eurozone finance ministries ratified the list agreed between Athens and its creditors at a meeting in Brussels in which Greek Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis participated.

The government must begin its implementation immediately, as all milestones will have to be completed within the next month. The government must clear all the measures through Parliament by December 18.

Kathimerini understands that among the prior actions required will be financial sector reforms scheduled for December, the settlement of nonperforming loans, the privatization of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE), and the auctioning of electricity, which is designed to lead Public Power Corporation to reduce its retail and wholesale market shares by 25 percent before 2018 and by 50 percent before 2020.

The measures on the list also include voting through Parliament the new public sector salary system, the setup of a task force to undertake the creation of the new privatizations fund and the creation of a new secretariat for public revenues that will have to be independent.

The government is obliged to issue a ministerial decision regarding the mechanism ensuring there is an automatic rebate on any spending by hospitals that exceeds their budget (known as clawback), the reduction of charges made by private health centers to bring spending into line with the clawback levels.

Other issues on the list include the implementation of the reforms that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has proposed on commodity markets (fuel, drinks etc), measures to combat illegal trading, and the liberalization of closed-shop professions.

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