Tuesday November 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greeks decry market reforms needed to unlock EU-IMF aid

People waiting outside a pharmacy on duty in the area of Pangrati, in Athens, Friday. The pharmacists’ strike in Athens will continue until March 31. The omnibus bill includes the extension of the opening hours of pharmacies and also projects that all pharmacies can operate during evening hours, from Monday to Friday, as well as Saturday. The selection and maintenance of any extended hours are being decided by each licensed pharmacist.

Greek industry associations criticised as “destructive” reforms that the country must approve by Sunday to clinch bailout loans, although the government expects the final package of austerity measures to pass.

Associations of the country’s pharmacists, bakers, cattle breeders and booksellers, the sectors that will be most affected by the liberalisation reforms, warned Friday that the main beneficiaries would be foreign-based conglomerates.

“We are uniting our forces against policies that are destroying us,” Panagiotis Peveretos, head of the association of Greek cattle breeders, told a news conference.

Greek milk producers say a reform that will allow longer shelf-life for milk will result in lower-quality milk from Romania and Bulgaria flooding the market and imperil a sector employing 300,000 people.

As many as eight ruling coalition lawmakers had threatened to oppose the bill in parliament, where the government has a slim majority, but the legislation is expected to pass after a number of compromises were struck.

In addition, pharmacists have launched an indefinite strike over another part of the bill that foresees longer operating hours and cuts their profit margin from 2017.

Booksellers, who stand to lose state-guaranteed limits on discounts, warned similar measures wiped out small book stores in Britain and the United States.

“There will be unfair competition from supermarket and online chains based in tax-free havens,” said publisher Thanos Psychogios.

The legislation, which incorporates international recommendations to improve competitiveness and also facilitates a long-delayed bank recapitalization, will unlock for Greece some 8.5 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in eurozone loans.

Tough talks on the issue with Greeces EU-IMF creditors took seven months.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday said government lawmakers would vote in favour of the necessary measures on Sunday.

“(Our lawmakers) are responsible and have proven this,” Samaras said in a televised statement.

He added that the bill constituted the final bout of austerity measures adopted by Greece since 2010, when it was forced to apply for the EU-IMF bailout to stave off bankruptcy.

“There will be no new austerity measures. This is over,” Samaras said.

“Our (return) to (financial) markets comes next, followed by discussion on the debt,” he said.

Greece has announced plans to return to borrowing on financial markets in the second half of the year with a sale of five-year bonds to raise 1.5-2.0 billion euros.

Samaras’ government then hopes to reach an agreement with its creditors that will ease the repayment of its huge public debt. [AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Friday March 28, 2014 (16:08)  
Gov’t plays down delay of capital revamp projects
Papandreou proposal sparks war of words inside PASOK
Crucial talks with troika in Paris
Biden briefs Anastasiades about talks in Istanbul
All three bids accepted in regional airport tender
All three consortiums interested in the privatization of Greece’s regional airports have made it to the second stage of the tender, which concerns binding bids, state sell-off fund TAIPED de...
DEPA facing 100-mln-euro fine to Gazprom
Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) will have to pay a fine of over 100 million euros to Russian energy giant Gazprom in compliance with the “take-or-pay” clause in the agreement between the two c...
Inside Business
SOCCER
EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
Soccer action will resume this weekend after the Super League convened on Monday, elected a new president and alternate president and sent a letter to the soccer federation that assures it t...
BASKETBALL
Olympiakos ends PAOK´s unbeaten run in Basket League
Olympiakos put an end to PAOK’s unbeaten run in the Basket League with an emphatic win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, leaving Panathinaikos as the only team with a perfect record so fa...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Extremism from a bygone era
There are times when we seem to be overcome by self-destructive madness. I hear various commentators and politicians speaking in extreme terms of a junta, of defections, gallows, collaborato...
EDITORIAL
No call for more games
Psychological warfare has been a part of the negotiations between the troika and Athens from the very start of the crisis. But the situation is much different now and troika decision-makers ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
2. All three bids accepted in regional airport tender
3. DEPA facing 100-mln-euro fine to Gazprom
4. Manufacturing start made easier
5. Fewer shut shops in Athens city center this year
6. BoG plans single ‘bad bank’
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
4. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
5. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
6. Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Give Greece a chance
6. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.