Thursday October 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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)  
Germany denies backing proposal for Greece to exit aid program
Boy, 13, dies after falling from fifth floor in Thessaloniki
Civil servants to be investigated for transferring money abroad
Tsipras to meet with BoG governor on Thursday
Italy, Greece banks lead Europe decliners amid capital concerns
Italian and Greek banks led stock declines among the region’s lenders after European Banking Authority Chairman Andrea Enria said stress tests completed last week aren’t foolproof and more m...
European stocks tumble as banks decline after Enria’s comments
European stocks retreated, erasing earlier gains, as banks from peripheral euro-area nations tumbled. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also declined. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.7 p...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Panathinaikos and PAOK retain perfect record
The third round of games in the Basket League over the weekend saw PAOK overcome the strong resistance of host KAOD at Drama, and Panathinaikos and Olympiakos inflict heavy losses on AEK and...
SOCCER
Gattuso recalls resignation from OFI bench
Gennaro Gattuso has recalled his resignation from the OFI Crete bench following pressure by the club’s fans and administration, one day after his quitting accusing the club and its players o...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Thirteen years after the attacks on the Twin Towers and NATO's entry into the war in Afghanistan, things remain pretty much unchanged: Political instability and insecurity  reign in the Cent...
COMMENTARY
Cool heads required
It’s time for Athens and Nicosia to deal with the current situation in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which a Turkish seismic research vessel has breached against international law,...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Germany denies backing proposal for Greece to exit aid program
2. Boy, 13, dies after falling from fifth floor in Thessaloniki
3. Italy, Greece banks lead Europe decliners amid capital concerns
4. Civil servants to be investigated for transferring money abroad
5. European stocks tumble as banks decline after Enria’s comments
6. Tsipras to meet with BoG governor on Thursday
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek euro dilemma is back as minister predicts volatility
2. Students hijack university senate meeting
3. Clientelism belongs to the past, says Mitsotakis
4. Peripheral banks lead European shares lower after positive start
5. Over 1,500 buildings and vehicles damaged in flash floods
6. Tsipras to meet with BoG governor on Thursday
Today
This Week
1. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
2. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
3. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
4. End of reason, end of humanity
5. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
6. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.