Thursday April 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
23o C
15o 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)  
Free drugs for uninsured Greeks
SYRIZA´s preparation for elections upset again
Korydallos Prison´s new warden quits over staff anger at probe
US tourist injured by firecracker in Santorini shows signs of improvement
Expanding the social dividend base
The Finance Ministry is set to make some adjustments to the plan for the distribution of the so-called social dividend, so that more recipients get a share of the 2013 primary budget surplus...
National Bank determined to remain in the Turkish market
National Bank sources made clear on Wednesday that the upcoming 2.5-billion-euro share capital increase is to ensure that the group retains its majority stake in Turkish subsidiary Finansban...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Never underestimate the Greek hoopsters
Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, who between them have won the last three European crowns, won again at home on Wednesday to take their Euroleague play-off series with Real Madrid and CSKA Mosc...
BASKETBALL
Reds and Greens stay alive in Euroleague
Easter – and home advantage – worked wonders for Panathinaikos and Olympiakos who stayed alive in the Euroleague play-offs beating CSKA and Real Madrid respectively on Monday in Greece. Shak...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
It´s too soon for Europe to declare victory
There was a time not so long ago when the vast majority of experts agreed that a country could not emerge decisively from a financial crisis unless it solved problems of both “stocks” and “f...
COMMENTARY
Reality´s other side
There is plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that the country’s real economy has hit rock bottom and is currently entering a phase of growth. Those who know the market well tend to suppo...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Never underestimate the Greek hoopsters
2. Expanding the social dividend base
3. National Bank determined to remain in the Turkish market
4. Ferries to start using LNG
5. Investment fund off the ground
6. Stocks decline after three days of growth
more news
Today
This Week
1. FBI seeks to identify victims of suspected US child molester who worked abroad, including Greece
2. Greek debt swells again as Samaras looks to creditors for relief
3. Woman dies after falling off state building roof
4. Greece qualifies for new debt relief after 2013 budget surplus
5. Tunisian sought over employment scam
6. Greece sees 2013 primary budget surplus at 1.5 bln euros, says deputy finance minister
Today
This Week
1. Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone
2. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
3. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
4. Government looks to kick on
5. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
6. EU struggles to unpick the knot of Russia-Ukraine gas logistics
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.