Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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)  
Athens, Nicosia satisfied by EU leaders´ stance toward Ankara
Suspended policeman chief suspect in cousin’s murder
No decisions yet on Greek bailout, says Samaras
Prescription fines since 2012 reach 2 bln, says minister
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
Greece’s trade deficit shrank 29.5 percent year-on-year in August as a result of the considerable 16.3 percent decline in imports, Hellenic Statistical Authority figures revealed on Friday. ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
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 ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
End of reason, end of humanity
The effects of a slew of new and increased taxes introduced since the start of the crisis were first observed in the wages of those still fortunate enough to have jobs, who saw their take-ho...
EDITORIAL
Banks need to step up
What has been leaked so far regarding the results of the stress tests on Greece’s lenders, which are due to be published on Sunday, appears positive. Greece needs a healthy, private banking ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
2. TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
3. Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
4. SMEs unable to claim subsidies
5. Taxes kept growing in second quarter
6. Thessaloniki Port expects 2014 to be record year
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Banks need to step up
3. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
4. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
5. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
6. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.