Friday October 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Troika says Greece must dismantle barriers to competition for review to conclude

The troika has warned Greece that the ongoing review of its adjustment program will not be completed in February unless Athens adopts the dozens of recommendations made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for removing regulations that distort competition.

In an e-mail sent by Greece’s lenders to Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis, which has been seen by Kathimerini, the troika says it is unable to see how the review can be concluded if the Greek government does not remove the barriers to competition identified by the OECD or provide satisfactory explanations for leaving some of the regulations unchanged.

The e-mail expresses officials’ “concern” about reports that suggest the government is encountering opposition to its efforts to implement the OECD’s so-called tool kit. The troika says that these reforms are of “central importance” to improving the competitiveness of Greek businesses, reducing prices for local consumers and creating jobs. The country’s lenders also note that adoption of the OECD’s recommendations would send an “important message” about the government’s appetite for reforms.

After an 11-month study, the OECD identified in November 555 regulatory restrictions which it says undermine competition. The Paris-based organization made 329 recommendations on legal provisions that should be amended or repealed. The OECD estimates the benefit to the Greek economy would be around 5.2 billion euros, or roughly 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, as a result of “increased purchasing power for consumers and efficiency gains for companies.”

The barriers to entry identified by the OECD include the definition of fresh milk as produce that has a shelf-life of five days and the exclusive distribution of over-the-counter medicines by pharmacies. The think-tank recommends relaxing constraints on the operation of businesses and their commercial practices, such as Sunday opening for retail stores, and the establishment of pharmacies. It also proposes the scrapping of third-party levies, such as a tax on cement, on the wholesale price of medicines and on flour.

Some of these proposals, though, are encountering opposition within government, let alone beyond the confines of the coalition. PASOK and Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis opposes allowing super markets to sell non-prescription medicines. Agriculture Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris is against the idea of extending the permissible shelf-life of fresh milk, arguing that this would allow cheaper imports to flood the Greek market.

“Is a saving of five to 10 cents a day for a four-member family worth sending Greece’s dairy farmers into extinction?” he wondered while addressing Parliament on Thursday.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jan 23, 2014 (22:38)  
Interior Minister accused of not paying his health fund contributions
EU leaders to support Cyprus over EEZ rights
Protests over university security persist
Samaras, Juncker examine Greek proposal for emerging from bailout
Tax rate cut in catering sector has paid off
The reduction in the value-added tax on catering has not only resulted in smaller-than-expected revenue losses for the state coffers, it has also stemmed the flow of restaurant shutdowns and...
Improvement in VAT collection
While Greece came top among European Union states in terms of improving its value-added tax deficit in 2012, it still ranks among those with the biggest problems in VAT collection. According...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
BASKETBALL
Greens succumb to first loss at Bayern
Panathinaikos’s unbeaten run in all competitions came an end on Thursday as the Greek champion lost 81-75 at Bayern Munich for the Euroleague. Bayern is a team that improves every year, and ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Tension for tension’s sake?
It is evident that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan feeds off tension. He would barely have achieved as much as he has – and prevailed – if he had not been so keen to confront a series...
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...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
2. Greens succumb to first loss at Bayern
3. Tax rate cut in catering sector has paid off
4. Improvement in VAT collection
5. Just two banks seen to require more capital
6. Solidarity levy extended to 2016 in bid to meet targets
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong winds hamper sea travel
2. Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
3. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
4. Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
5. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
6. Arrivals show increase in January-June 2014 period
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
5. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
6. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.