Tuesday September 16, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
28o C
21o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Government braces for PPC backlash, troika return

 PM, Venizelos to discuss prior actions

The government faces a difficult week as a controversial bill foreseeing the part-privatization of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) is set to go to Parliament on Wednesday amid vehement opposition by leftist SYRIZA and unionists to the measure, one of a series of so-called prior actions that Athens has pledged to the troika.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partner, PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos, are expected to meet in the next few days to discuss the PPC reform. The premier appeared to set the tone for the government’s stance in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt last week in which he stressed that Greek unions “will not dictate our course.”

The two coalition leaders, and Greece’s new finance minister, Gikas Hardouvelis, must also prepare for the scheduled return to Athens next week of troika officials. The envoys are to conduct a new audit of Greece’s finances, focusing chiefly on whether the government has made progress on two sets of six prior actions, each set linked to 1 billion euros in rescue loans.

The government has made headway with some of its commitments. A new zoning plan, which introduces changes to existing legislation in a attempt to attract investment and spur business activity, was approved in Parliament last week. In response to troika demands for the abolition of a series of third-party charges, the Development Ministry has set up an electronic platform, and has appealed for the help of citizens, to make a full list of such taxes.

Authorities must still enforce a new code of conduct for MPs and ministers and finalize measures reducing the profit margins of pharmacists among other actions.

The government is keen to show the troika that it is on track with reforms as this, along with its achievement of a primary budget surplus, are preconditions for the launch of talks on debt relief in the coming months.

However, faced with growing austerity fatigue in politics and society and an aggressive political opposition, the coalition is reevaluating its economic program, chiefly a series of taxes. Officials have indicated that a special tax on heating oil and a unified property tax are among the levies set to be reviewed; but they have stressed that the planned overhaul will not lead to Greece reneging on its pledges to foreign creditors.

It remains unclear how the troika envoys, who are due in Athens next week, will respond to these plans, and to government pledges to revoke cuts to the salaries and pensions of judges, police and armed forces staff and other employees of the civil service who have appealed against troika-mandated cutbacks. Reversing those decisions will cost the cash-strapped Greek state an estimated 1 billion euros and could set a precedent for the vindication of other civil servants who have taken legal action against measures imposed by successive Greek governments in exchange for rescue funding.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday June 28, 2014 (16:18)  
Greece will not become Weimar, Samaras says
Mobile units on Samos and Lesvos proving useful for migrants
Opposition demands answers over NERIT resignations
TIF pledges to cost 11.3 bln euros, SYRIZA says
Job creation is mostly seasonal
Employment in Greece rose by 1,311 jobs last month, according to figures for August from the Labor Ministry’s Ergani database that were released on Monday, but this increase had much to do w...
Primary surplus at 2.3 bln euros in end-August
The 2014 state budget showed a primary surplus of 2.3 billion euros on a cash basis in the first eight months of the year, the Bank of Greece announced on Monday. The cash deficit came to 2....
Inside Business
WATER POLO
Greece wins women´s U19 Europeans in water polo
Greece won the women’s European Under-19 Championship in Italy beating the host in Sunday’s final, for what was the country’s second gold medal in the competition’s history. The Greek teenag...
SOCCER
Veria alone on Super League summit
Olympiakos appeared in fine shape ahead of its Champions League premiere against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, beating visiting OFI 3-0 on Saturday, but Macedonian minnows Veria are those that...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Lost in the fog
I recently attended an event where one of the guests was a much talked-about personality of the center-left, a person who has never been part of a government administration. People kept goin...
EDITORIAL
Sending out a clear message
Few things are worse in politics than sending out vague or contradictory messages. Interestingly, there has been little else from the direction of the conservative-led government since the l...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Job creation is mostly seasonal
2. Primary surplus at 2.3 bln euros in end-August
3. Supermarket chains stifling traditional retail food stores
4. Hardouvelis sees great interest abroad in investing in Greece
5. Bourse quiet as investors sit and wait
6. Greece will not become Weimar, Samaras says
more news
Today
This Week
1. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
2. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
3. Lost in the fog
4. Thessaloniki man dies in heavy rainfall on Sunday
5. Soccer fan in critical condition after Sunday clash to be transferred to Athens
6. Sending out a clear message
Today
This Week
1. A Greek God
2. Greece on standby
3. Avramopoulos appointed Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
4. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
5. EU bank tests may miss trillion dollar risk, study finds
6. Pavlos Fyssas murder trial expected to start before the end of the year
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.