Thursday Jul 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o 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)  
Plan to restore Asopos River enters final stage
Manolada shooting verdict to be reviewed
As Iglesias sings, inspectors count
Activists slam decision to shelve investigation into Farmakonisi deaths
Traders unhappy with turnover
Three weeks into the summer sales, traders say that purchases are not satisfactory. Shopping levels appear to be lower than during the same period last year, or on the same level at best, ev...
No rivals for Intralot as it bags racing bet permit
Intralot confirmed previous reports on Thursday by appearing as the sole bidder in a tender for the license to operate Greek horse-race betting held by state privatization fund TAIPED. Frenc...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Goalless draw at Liege puts Greens in driving seat
Panathinaikos got the upper hand in the battle for entry to the Champions League playoffs after snatching a goalless draw at Standard Liege on Wednesday. If anything, the Greek cup holders m...
SOCCER
Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Summer turbulence
High summer temperatures appear to have messed with the reflexes of officials at the top echelons of Greece’s power-sharing administration. A sense of anxiety has gripped the political syste...
EDITORIAL
Capital upgrade
After years of financial troubles, the city of Athens is finally buzzing with tourists. Despite some encouraging figures however, the Greek capital has not quite managed to become a destinat...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Traders unhappy with turnover
2. No rivals for Intralot as it bags racing bet permit
3. Energy cost cuts even without EU approval
4. KEPE: Greek economy returned to growth in Q2
5. July becomes fourth straight month of bourse loss
6. Plan to restore Asopos River enters final stage
more news
Today
This Week
1. Motorists refusing to pay tolls on Corinth-Kalamata highway to be monitored
2. Euro flows reveal shift in sentiment as losses mount
3. Greece may ignore EU and lower energy costs for business, says minister
4. EU puzzles over emergency funds for euro area bank crisis agency
5. Only 5 percent of stores see brisker business during this year's summer sales
6. Fake psychic caught in Thessaloniki after gaining 35,000 from victim
Today
This Week
1. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
2. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
3. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
4. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
5. Front-line threats
6. World’s largest solar boat on Greek mission
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.