NEWS

Greece turns to new reforms, pushes institutional change

TAGS: Politics, Economy

With the release of 7.5 billion euros in funding simply a matter of days now, the government has already turned its attention to a new slew of measures that it must legislate in the coming months to keep the program on track and the loan funding flowing.

Athens came a step closer to securing the 7.5-billion-euro tranche on Friday after the Bundestag approved its release. A handful of other eurozone national parliaments must also ratify the motion before the money is disbursed.

In rare words of praise, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told a business conference later on Friday that Greece had enforced most of the reforms required under its third bailout and was on the way to regaining the confidence of markets. “Greece can begin to stand on its feet again and regain access to the financial markets,” he said.

The next set of 15 actions must be pushed into law over the coming months, with creditors demanding that all measures be legislated by the end of October for the release of the next tranche of funding, worth 2.8 billion euros.

The measures include the completion of the joint assessment by Greek officials and foreign auditors of the managing boards of Greek banks, the staffing of the supervisory council of the new privatization fund, the transfer of a second set of public utilities to the new fund, the appointment of staff to a new, independent general secretariat for public revenue, the liberalization of the natural gas market and the privatization of power grid operator ADMIE.

With less pressure to immediately legislate new measures, the government is planning to focus on its plans for institutional reform.

Officials are to make public the government’s proposal for a new electoral law in July. By July 24, the anniversary of the restoration of democracy after the fall of Greece’s junta in 1974, the government will present its proposal for constitutional reform.

With ministers’ work cut out for them, sources said an anticipated cabinet reshuffle is being pushed back to September.

Over the next two weeks, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has a series of meetings lined up. He is to meet United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 17 in Athens and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on June 20 or 21.

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