Thursday April 2, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
EU praises Greece’s progress in departure from troika criticism

By Nikos Chrysoloras

Overhauls in Greek markets, the economy and public administration are delivering results, the European Commission said Wednesday, signaling divisions among official creditors over the country’s progress.

“Greek public administration has continued significant rationalization of the workforce” the Commission’s Task Force said in its quarterly report on Greece published Wednesday in Brussels. The public sector wage bill as a percentage of gross domestic product is now below the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average, the commission said.

The commission, alongside its troika partners the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, has been trying to transform Greek public policy after bailing out the country with low-yield loans totaling 240 billion euros ($323 billion) since 2010. The program of reforms affecting defense spending and health care, to forestry legislation and fresh milk is slowing as a return to the bond markets and an economic recovery embolden officials, the IMF said last month.

“Adjustment fatigue has set in,” IMF staff said in its latest review of the Greek economic adjustment program. “This is making it difficult to move forward boldly and swiftly with needed reforms.”

During a meeting of euro area finance ministers earlier this month, ECB president Mario Draghi raised concerns with the Greek Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis that Greece has relaxed its reform efforts.

Clearing customs

The 60-strong task force was set up in 2011 to provide “exceptional technical assistance” to help Europe’s most- indebted state implement economic overhauls tied to the world’s biggest international bailout.

Exporters have reported a decrease of as much as 50 percent in the time they have to wait to clear customs and have cut their costs by between 20 percent and 50 percent in the past half year, the Task Force said in a press release today. Greece has also “achieved good progress” in improving its tax collection system, it said.

“Despite so much talk to the contrary, the truth is that Greece has implemented lots of reforms,” said Panos Tsakloglou, a professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business who was Greece’s representative in the working group of senior euro-area finance ministry officials until June. “The starting point was very low, and the full benefit of these reforms will only be seen once the economy starts picking up.”

As it struggles with 27 percent unemployment, the country has topped the league table for reform responsiveness among developed nations in the annual rankings of the OECD. Greece has further reduced cost of starting up a business and taxes on property transfers, the Commission said Wednesday.

The government will submit a bill which includes measures aimed at satisfying troika conditions for the disbursement of a delayed bailout sub-tranche later this week or next week, a spokesman for the country’s Finance Ministry said Tuesday. [Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday Jul 23, 2014 (15:06)  
Government considers ministry switch after Parliament protest
Updated reform list still not enough to unlock aid
Bill paving way for ERT to reopen tabled in House
New call for Golden Dawn trial to be moved
ECB raises ELA limit by 700 mln euros
Greek banks received a cash lifeline of just 700 million euros from the European Central Bank on Wednesday as this is the estimated amount of liquidity needed by the local credit system for ...
Attica office market sees no end to crisis-linked drop in demand
No more than 45,000 square meters of office space has been absorbed by the Attica market through new leases in the last couple of years, according to data compiled by Savills Hellas property...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
AEK could get a wild card to the Euroleague
AEK shows capable of climbing as high as third in the Basket League, as its 16-point home win over third-placed Aris on Sunday confirmed it can challenge both Aris and PAOK to the first spot...
SOCCER
Cyprus soccer eyes reunion after 60-year divorce
Turkish Cypriot soccer officials on Monday vowed to press ahead with attempts to reunite with the Cyprus Football Association, (CFA), triggering a political storm on the ethnically-split isl...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Going his own way
While up until the last election we had become accustomed to referring to the coalition government led by Antonis Samaras as one featuring a split personality, no political psychoanalyst cou...
EDITORIAL
Righting the wrongs
A country that wants to move forward should study and deal with its past mistakes in a mature and responsible manner. Greece was hit by an unprecedented debt crisis and it came to the brink ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. ECB raises ELA limit by 700 mln euros
2. Attica office market sees no end to crisis-linked drop in demand
3. Stathakis prefers PPPs for the concession of regional airports
4. One-off takings help revenues
5. Stocks slide in particularly thin trade
6. Government considers ministry switch after Parliament protest
more news
Today
This Week
1. Going his own way
2. Finance Ministry officials to discuss talks progress as EU pushes for action [Update]
3. Athens aims to tighten ties with Russia
4. Spike in migrants reaching Lesvos
5. Buffett says Greek exit from euro ‘may not be a bad thing’
6. Greek economy minister sees deal with EU/IMF on reforms next week
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. Eurogroup unlikely to be held soon to discuss Greek reforms
3. Moscow expects progress from Tsipras visit
4. Amateur antics or overstepping the mark?
5. Greece optimistic on deal with euro area next week
6. ECB nerves fray on Greece as supervisors rile central bankers
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.