Thursday October 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
22o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Troika talks continue ahead of party leaders' meeting

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is due to meet the leaders of Greece’s three coalition parties on Tuesday evening to finalize the measures that the government will commit to in order to receive further funding from its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund.

PASOK’s George Papandreou, New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras and the head of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) Giorgos Karatzaferis are due to hold talks with Papademos some time after 9 p.m.

Papademos held lengthy talks with representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF on Monday night. The negotiations, which centered on the budget cuts that Greece has to make to satisfy its lenders, ended at about 4 a.m.

On Tuesday, the troika representatives met with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Labor Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis. It appears that one of the elements to the agreement will be a reduction of 20 percent to the minimum wage of 751 euros per month (gross).

"Unfortunately the negotiations are so tough that as soon as one chapter closes, another opens,» Venizelos said late on Monday.

Greece has to reduce public spending by 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, or 3.3 billion euros. The largest chunk, about 1.1 billion, will be from cuts in spending on health and medicines. The public investment program will be limited by 300 million euros and defense spending will be cut by the same amount.

Some 15,000 places in the civil service will also be scrapped this year as the government attempts to reduce over the next three years by 150,000 the number of people employed in the public sector.

All the cuts will have to be approved and agreed on by the three party leaders on Tuesday evening.

Another issue the leaders will have to finalize following their initial talks on Sunday night is the reduction in the minimum wage. The three leaders seemed to accept this in return for the idea of scrapping the 13th and 14th monthly salaries being dropped.

However, cuts to the minimum wage will have a knock-on effect because they will lead to a 1.3-billion drop in tax revenues and a 2.4-billion reduction in social security contributions. This means the government will have to make up for these losses. Furthermore, Papandreou, Samaras and Karatzaferis are also being asked to agree to scrap the law that allows terms of collective contracts to apply even after they have expired, meaning employers will have the ability to negotiate new deals based on lower wage structure.

With Greece's future in the eurozone in question, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ratcheted up the pressure on Greek politicians to conclude a deal with the troika.

The full package must be agreed with Greece and approved by the eurozone, ECB and IMF before February 15.

This is to allow time for complex legal procedures involved in a bond swap deal - under which the value of private investors' holdings of Greek debt will be cut radically in value - so Athens can get rescue funds before March 20 when it has to meet 14.5 billion euros of maturing bonds.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the group of eurozone finance ministers, backed a plan put forward by Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to set up a special escrow account into which Greece would make future interest payments as a means of guaranteeing that creditors were consistently paid.

However, Juncker denied that the euro was in danger because of the debt crisis. «The euro will outlive us all,» he told German Inforadio on Tuesday.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday February 7, 2012 (19:06)  
Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire suspect arrested over bail violation
Highway traffic to be disrupted on Corinth-Patra route
Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
Solidarity tax to be extended for two years
Greek taxpayers will continue to pay an extra solidarity tax on income in the next two years, but at a 30 percent discount compared to current rates, it emerged on Thursday. The emergency ta...
Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
Spain’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest since the end of 2011 in the third quarter as its economy turned into one of the fastest-growing in the euro region. Joblessness fell to 23.7 per...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reac...
SOCCER
Third-division Iroditos punished heavily after fan death
Greek third division team Irodotos has been docked 15 points and ordered to play 10 matches behind closed doors following the death of an Ethnikos Piraeus supporter, the Hellenic Football Fe...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Defusing a crisis
The crisis in Cyprus is escalating rapidly and defusing it is an extremely delicate and complicated procedure that will inevitably lead to losses for the weakest of the two sides. The course...
EDITORIAL
PM needs to step up
The public perception of the government is anything but good right now. The coalition is projecting an image of discord and constant disputes show that key ministers are unable to stay on th...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire suspect arrested over bail violation
2. Highway traffic to be disrupted on Corinth-Patra route
3. Solidarity tax to be extended for two years
4. Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
5. EU requests clarification on Italy´s ´breach´ of budget goals
6. German survey props up European shares
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong winds hamper sea travel
2. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
3. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
4. Arrivals show increase in January-June 2014 period
5. Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
6. Nissan recalling 260,000 vehicles globally with Takata air bags
Today
This Week
1. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.