Saturday August 2, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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)  
Libya evacuees set to reach Piraeus on Saturday
Coast guard seeks boost in Aegean
Coalition agrees strategy for target of 5,000 dismissals in public sector
Illegal buildings in crosshairs
Greek PMI drops to nine-month low in July
The return to growth of the manufacturing sector proved short-lived, as the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) dropped to a nine-month low in July to 48.7 points, against 49.4 points in June, a...
Property tax surplus may lead to more installments or cuts
The government is considering an increase in the number of installments allowed for the payment of the new Single Property Ownership Tax (ENFIA) for 2014 and to reduce its size from 2015 if ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
One win and one loss in Europa League
Greece had a hit and a miss in the first-leg games for the third qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, as Atromitos scored a 2-1 win at Sarajevo while Asteras Tripolis lost 1-0 ...
SOCCER
Goalless draw at Liege puts Greens in driving seat
Panathinaikos got the upper hand in the battle for entry to the Champions League playoffs after snatching a goalless draw at Standard Liege on Wednesday. If anything, the Greek cup holders m...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
In trying to conquer, Putin unites Europe
President Vladimir Putin is obliged to feign indifference to the sanctions that the European Union and the United States imposed on Russia this week. But, being the player that he is, he mus...
EDITORIAL
Our own worst enemies
A new study has come to exemplify the cliche notion that Greeks find it easier to excel abroad, where they fare much better than they do at home. According to research by epidemiologist John...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek PMI drops to nine-month low in July
2. Property tax surplus may lead to more installments or cuts
3. Athens-Patra in just two hours
4. Plans to tackle Russian crisis
5. Fifth straight day of losses on Greek bourse
6. Libya evacuees set to reach Piraeus on Saturday
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece evacuates embassy staff, foreign nationals from Libya
2. Greek exporters worried about impact of Russia sanctions
3. Greek bond yields dip as investors anticipate ratings upgrade
4. Britons stranded at sea off Zakynthos towed to safety
5. Human rights watchdog criticizes decision to file Farmakonisi case
6. Jean-Claude Juncker to make first official visit to Athens on Monday
Today
This Week
1. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
2. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
3. World’s largest solar boat on Greek mission
4. What lessons can we draw from antiquity?
5. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
6. Greek coast guard picks up 77 migrants off Myconos
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.