Thursday September 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
20o 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)  
Police report identifies officers with ties to Golden Dawn
Increasing number of mayors blocking contract reviews
PM hopes for boost from Merkel meeting next week
Athens among winners of Bloomberg Philanthropies 2014 Mayors Challenge
Very lucky punters set to be probed
The Hellenic Gaming Commission has forwarded some impressive data regarding the possible abuse of profits from games of chance to the anti-money laundering authority and the Financial Crimes...
London roadshow starts with record turnout
The Athens Exchange’s London roadshow got under way at Bloomberg’s headquarters in the British capital on Wednesday featuring 31 listed companies and with much better prospects than the prev...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
SOCCER
Mitroglou rediscovers scoring touch after Fulham let-down
Costas Mitroglou banished the memories of his disappointing spell in England after breaking a 10-month goal drought as Olympiakos Piraeus secured a thrilling 3-2 Champions League win over At...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Loud patriotism
I admit that whenever politicians drag religious faith and worn-out patriotism into discussions I button up. I feel the same way when I see bishops blatantly getting involved in politics. To...
EDITORIAL
In need of a second wind
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and a few of his ministers have gone to great lengths to see Greece regain credibility in the eyes of its partners. Given that the state mechanism is not...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Very lucky punters set to be probed
2. London roadshow starts with record turnout
3. Banks set to request 6.1 bln under TLTRO
4. More efforts to cut the price of milk
5. Skiathos tops Greeks’ online summer holiday searches
6. IMF departure gets on the table
more news
Today
This Week
1. Loud patriotism
2. SYRIZA victory would spark a bank run, PM reportedly warns
3. Production of the new Pony to start by the end of the year, NAMCO says
4. Davutoglu calls for a two-state solution in Cyprus
5. Tsipras to meet with Pope Francis on Thursday
6. In need of a second wind
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Avramopoulos appointed Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
5. EU bank tests may miss trillion dollar risk, study finds
6. Lost in the fog
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.