Friday Jul 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Gov’t focus shifts to reforms after Chinese visit

After securing commitments from visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for a boost in much-needed trade and investments, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected next week to shift his attention to the domestic political arena, pressing his cabinet to push through pending commitments to the troika.

Li wrapped up a three-day visit to Greece on Saturday with a visit to Crete following the signing of 19 bilateral deals worth an estimated 6.5 billion euros. The Chinese are interested in a new international airport near the Cretan port of Iraklio along with a series of other Greek state assets up for privatization as part of a troika-mandated reform drive.

Samaras, who accompanied Li on a tour of the island’s archaeological sites, indicated in comments to reporters that the Chinese premier’s visit to the island would spark positive developments. “The benefits for Crete will be very big and you will see them in the near future,” he said, anticipating an influx of Chinese tourists. Overall increased cooperation between the two countries in a range of sectors “will contribute to growth in Greece,” Samaras said at the end of a visit widely interpreted as a success by government officials following the interest expressed by Chinese visitors in Greece’s privatization program.

The troika-mandated sell-off program has consistently missed revenue targets but Greece has even more pressing commitments to honor. A list of so-called prior actions – including the abolition of third-party levies, a reduction in pharmacies’ profit margins and the introduction of a new ethics code for ministers and MPs – must be enforced by the end of next month if the country is to secure two tranches of rescue loans worth 2 billion euros. Authorities are also keen to prove to international creditors that a reform drive is on track as this is a condition for the launch of crucial talks in the fall on lightening Greece’s debt burden. The International Monetary Fund expressed concern in its latest report on Greece about “adjustment fatigue” in the government and concerns about the pace of reforms were expressed by officials at a eurozone summit in Luxembourg last week despite reassurances by Greece’s new Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis that commitments would be honored.

Samaras and his coalition partner, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, are keen to prove the critics wrong. But, with many ministers in the new cabinet openly challenging measures agreed between their predecessors and the troika, the coalition leaders have their work cut out for them.

New Education Minister Andreas Loverdos has called for the rehiring of a larger number of public sector workers who have been put in a so-called mobility scheme. Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos has expressed understanding for local authority employees protesting the scheme and Health Minister Makis Voridis has called for a minimum guaranteed profit for pharmacists. Meanwhile Alternate Agriculture Minister Paris Koukoulopoulos has suggested that the part-privatization of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) can be renegotiated.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday June 21, 2014 (17:58)  
EOPYY removes medical tests as part of streamlining efforts
Thousands of dead fish surface in Lake Pamvotis
Greek coast guard picks up 77 migrants off Mykonos
Police report points to less crime in 2014
Bank deposits rise for fourth straight month in June
Greek bank deposits rose in June for the fourth month in a row, central bank data showed on Friday. Business and household deposits rose to 163.2 billion euros ($219 billion) from 162.1 bill...
Aegean Airlines resumes flights to Tel Aviv
Aegean Airlines resumed its services to and from Tel Aviv, Israel, on Friday, the company announced in a statement. The Greek airline had suspended both regular and chartered flights to Isra...
Inside Business
TRACK & FIELD
Athens, the Marathon capital of the world for good
Paco Borao, the man who restored Athens as the Marathon capital of the world with the establishment at the Olympic Sports Center of the headquarters of the International Association of Marat...
TRACK & FIELD
Pole vault record on same day as three doping cases
Greek track and field had a mixed weekend, as on the same day as Katerina Stefanidi matched the national record in pole vault as well as the leading result in Europe so far this season, thre...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Forty years of shortsighted party policies
It is 40 years since the restoration of democracy, and the two main parties which were established in 1974 and determined the country’s fate since then are unable to act their age. For decad...
EDITORIAL
Putting the past behind us
Democracy was restored in Greece 40 years ago and the country owes a debt to Constantine Karamanlis for handling the transition and anchoring the country firmly in the safe port of Europe wi...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. EOPYY removes medical tests as part of streamlining efforts
2. Bank deposits rise for fourth straight month in June
3. Thousands of dead fish surface in Lake Pamvotis
4. Greek coast guard picks up 77 migrants off Mykonos
5. Aegean Airlines resumes flights to Tel Aviv
6. Draghi safety net becoming blindfold as bonds soar
more news
Today
This Week
1. Draghi safety net becoming blindfold as bonds soar
2. Aegean Airlines resumes flights to Tel Aviv
3. Police report points to less crime in 2014
4. Greek coast guard picks up 77 migrants off Mykonos
5. Thousands of dead fish surface in Lake Pamvotis
6. Bank deposits rise for fourth straight month in June
Today
This Week
1. Greece seen in third bailout as bonds not enough, economists say
2. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
3. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
4. Greek banks able to tap investors after stress tests, HFSF Says
5. Unequal after death
6. Death on MH17 and our global war
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.