Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Troika calls for streamlined EAS, lower social security contributions for employers

Talks between government officials and troika envoys resumed on Tuesday with the foreign inspectors reportedly pressing for a reduction in the level of social security contributions employers are obliged to pay and for the closure or streamlining of the loss-making state firm Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS).

The envoys met first with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras for talks believed to have touched on the prior actions Athens must complete to clinch the next 1-billion-euro tranche of rescue funding. These include placing thousands of civil servants in a so-called mobility scheme foreseeing transfers and layoffs and the restructuring of EAS and another two state firms, ELVO and Larco. According to sources, troika officials rejected a Greek plan to overhaul EAS, deeming that the company had a weak presence on the international market, and pressed for its closure or for radical streamlining with staff cut down to 341 from 900. In comments to reporters late on Tuesday, Stournaras appeared unmoved, noting that state defense firms should be “export-oriented.”

Talks later in the day between the troika and Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis were tense, according to sources, as the foreign envoys reportedly pressed for a reduction – by 3.9 percentage points – of the social security contributions paid by Greek firms for the staff they employ. The measure is part of a bid to lighten the burden on firms. But the government is reluctant to comply, fearing the impact on the country’s social security funds which are already cash-strapped, largely due to many companies not paying social security contributions at all. The proposed reduction would deprive the funds of an estimated 800 million to 1.1 billion euros.

Government officials sought to put negotiations on a positive footing from the outset, presenting data showing tax revenues to be above target. According to figures released by Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, general government revenues in October came to 4.8 billion euros, 24 percent higher than the target set last month. “The figures are satisfactory enough for us to substantiate a good argument,” a high-ranking Finance Ministry official told Kathimerini. The troika did not respond to the data, however, and is expected to assess it, along with other information presented by ministers on Tuesday, ahead of a second meeting with Stournaras expected on Friday.

The atmosphere in talks at the Finance Ministry was reportedly good on Tuesday despite a protest by ministry employees who have been put in the mobility scheme and who demanded to see Stournaras while he was in talks with the troika. Staff continued the protest in the street, obliging troika envoys to leave via the fire escape. Earlier, police briefly detained a pensioner who threw a handful of coins at Poul Thomsen, the envoy for the International Monetary Fund, as he was entering the ministry. The coins hit the car.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday November 5, 2013 (21:05)  
Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
New rector seeks to introduce ID checks at University of Athens
Gov’t upbeat in troika talks, says budget ´on target´
Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday
Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
Helexpo, the state company that organizes major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki International Fair, is in the last stages of drawing up its privatization plan. Sources say that the prop...
Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador in Athens David D. Pearce to discuss possible natural gas supply problems that Europe may face this winter due to...
Inside Business
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Politicized archaeology
Let us suppose that archaeologists discover that the tomb uncovered in Amphipolis was not the resting place of Roxana or Nearchos, but of Alexander the Great. Let us assume, that is, that ar...
EDITORIAL
Moderating expectations
Politics is, to a great extent, all about managing expectations, and anyone who raises that bar too high or too fast is at serious risk of disappointing and losing the people’s favor. In a c...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
2. Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
3. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
4. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
5. Pension system nears breaking point
6. Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
more news
Today
This Week
1. Politicized archaeology
2. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
3. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
4. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
5. Moderating expectations
6. Greece needs private debt overhaul, Piraeus Bank CEO says
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.