Thursday October 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
14o 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)  
Cyprus seeks EU response over Turkey´s EEZ violation
Thirteen indicted for inmate torture
Samaras, Venizelos eye deal with troika on bailout exit by Dec 8
Campaigners call for more road safety at deadly crash site
Athens weighs its LNG and CNG options
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis met on Wednesday with officials from six leading shipping companies in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, as he is weighing the possibility of Greece as...
Greece ranks among global leaders in tourism growth
Tourism in Greece has done particularly well in 2014, having grown 16.7 percent year-on-year, while the head of the World Tourism Organization stressed on Wednesday the added value this grow...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reac...
SOCCER
Third-division Iroditos punished heavily after fan death
Greek third division team Irodotos has been docked 15 points and ordered to play 10 matches behind closed doors following the death of an Ethnikos Piraeus supporter, the Hellenic Football Fe...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Careful what you wish for
Everyone is in a rush to become prime minister in this country, as if they have not learned a single thing from its political history. While still in opposition, PASOK’s George Papandreou ma...
EDITORIAL
Taking care of our key industry
It’s time to face facts: Tourism is the country’s heavy industry. The sector’s considerable contribution has served as a stabilizing factor for the local economy, essentially placing the cou...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Roberto´s heroics make Kasami´s goal count
2. Athens weighs its LNG and CNG options
3. Greece ranks among global leaders in tourism growth
4. Global oil price drop sends local fuel prices back to 2010 levels
5. Buy big house, become a citizen
6. Cyprus seeks EU response over Turkey´s EEZ violation
more news
Today
This Week
1. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
2. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
3. EU’s Juncker wins Commission-team approval with investment vow
4. Juncker’s EU commission team set for parliamentary green light
5. Taprantzis resigns from privatization agency TAIPED
6. Fallen tree, smashup cause traffic jams in Athens
Today
This Week
1. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
2. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
5. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
6. Samaras’s crumbling Greek exit lacks backing from economists
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.