Thursday October 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Altered austerity package gets first green light

A number of tweaks to the final package of some 13.5 billion euros in spending cuts and tax hikes were enough to obtain the initial approval of coalition leaders yesterday but the government still faces a challenge to convince the troika in the coming days, especially after changing the balance of the measures.

The government decreased by 1 billion to 10.5 the savings that will come from reductions in public expenditure, while raising from 2 to 3 billion the revenues that will be derived from tax increases over the next two years or four if Greece’s lenders agree to an extension to the adjustment period.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Democratic Left’s Fotis Kouvelis and PASOK’s Evangelos Venizelos discussed the package yesterday and gave it the green light, although Venizelos and Kouvelis expressed some reservations.

Democratic Left wants the troika to accept a clause that will allow Greece to ease up on spending cuts if it beats its targets. The troika, however, has indicated that if Greece were ahead of its targets, any extra savings would simply go towards building a bigger primary deficit.

On exiting the meeting, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Greece would try to include such a clause in the latest agreement, to balance the troika’s demands that more measures be taken if targets are not met. Troika officials are due back in Athens on Sunday to resume talks.

Of the 10.5 billion euros in spending cuts, 6.5 billion is coming from cuts to wages, pensions and benefits. The rest is due from savings produced by structural reforms. Up to 8 billion euros of measures are due to be implemented next year.

As a result of the cuts to pensions, retirees will lose roughly a month’s worth of payments. Any pensions between 1,000 and 1,500 euros will be cut by 2 percent. Those between 1,500 and 2,000 will be reduced by 5 percent and any above 2,000 are to be slashed by 10 percent. Beyond that, pensioners will have all their extra holiday payments abolished. These had already been reduced to a total of 800 euros per year. Retirees with supplementary pensions will be even worse off as two monthly payments are to be cut.

The increase in the retirement age from 65 to 67 is due to be implemented from next year.

Civil servants face cuts of up to 10 percent to their salaries, while those working at public enterprises will see reductions of between 20 and 30 percent. Policemen and soldiers will also have their wages reduced, despite the prime minister’s initial wish to prevent the reduction. The cuts will be from 6 percent to 23 percent.

Holiday payments for civil servants, which add up to 1,000 euros gross, will be abolished, meaning that bureaucrats will earn 12 monthly salaries, rather than the 14 they were originally paid.

In terms of tax revenues, the government is aiming to raise about 1.5 billion euros from tougher measures for the self-employed. They will lose their tax-free threshold of 5,000 euros, although it will remain in place for salaried professionals. The self-employed will be taxed on the whole of their income at a rate of 30 or 35 percent. Some 300,000 farmers who are currently not obliged to keep records of what they sell will have to do so and will be taxed at a similar rate to other self-employed Greeks.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday September 27, 2012 (21:59)  
In Athens, NATO chief sees spike in Russian flights on border
Germany denies backing proposal for Greece to exit aid program
Boy, 13, dies after falling from fifth floor in Thessaloniki
Civil servants to be investigated for transferring money abroad
Italy, Greece banks lead Europe decliners amid capital concerns
Italian and Greek banks led stock declines among the region’s lenders after European Banking Authority Chairman Andrea Enria said stress tests completed last week aren’t foolproof and more m...
European stocks tumble as banks decline after Enria’s comments
European stocks retreated, erasing earlier gains, as banks from peripheral euro-area nations tumbled. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also declined. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.7 p...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greece drops Samaras for Euro 2016 qualifier
Greece coach Claudio Ranieri has dropped striker Georgios Samaras from the national team after a dismal start to European Championship qualifying. Samaras, who plays for West Bromwich Albion...
BASKETBALL
Panathinaikos and PAOK retain perfect record
The third round of games in the Basket League over the weekend saw PAOK overcome the strong resistance of host KAOD at Drama, and Panathinaikos and Olympiakos inflict heavy losses on AEK and...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Thirteen years after the attacks on the Twin Towers and NATO's entry into the war in Afghanistan, things remain pretty much unchanged: Political instability and insecurity  reign in the Cent...
COMMENTARY
Cool heads required
It’s time for Athens and Nicosia to deal with the current situation in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which a Turkish seismic research vessel has breached against international law,...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. In Athens, NATO chief sees spike in Russian flights on border
2. Greece drops Samaras for Euro 2016 qualifier
3. Germany denies backing proposal for Greece to exit aid program
4. Boy, 13, dies after falling from fifth floor in Thessaloniki
5. Italy, Greece banks lead Europe decliners amid capital concerns
6. Civil servants to be investigated for transferring money abroad
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek euro dilemma is back as minister predicts volatility
2. Students hijack university senate meeting
3. Clientelism belongs to the past, says Mitsotakis
4. Peripheral banks lead European shares lower after positive start
5. Over 1,500 buildings and vehicles damaged in flash floods
6. European stocks tumble as banks decline after Enria’s comments
Today
This Week
1. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
2. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
3. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
4. End of reason, end of humanity
5. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
6. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.