Wednesday Jul 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o 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)  
Doctors probed after pregnant woman is turned away twice in northern Greece
Deputy Supreme Court prosecutor resigns ´for personal reasons´
Second mineral water brand banned over E coli concerns
Public order minister set to reopen Acropolis police precinct
Momentum drags bourse further down
The bourse benchmark contained its mid-day losses of over 1.1 percent to end its third consecutive session of decline losing no more than just 0.10 percent on Wednesday, while turnover went ...
Six firms submit bids to lease Vouliagmeni beach
Six companies have made bids to Greece Public Properties Company (ETAD) to lease Vouliagmeni beach in southern Athens for at least the next 15 years. ETAD opened the sealed bids on Tuesday. ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
SOCCER
Verona´s Moras donates bone marrow to brother
Hellas Verona defender Vangelis Moras is in Australia to donate bone marrow to his older brother Dimitris, who has leukemia. The transplant will take place on Saturday. Dimitris flew to Aust...
Inside Sports
EDITORIAL
Populism eating up education
The fact that the issue of education is not topping the list of priorities for the current coalition government, but instead, has been left in the hands of incapable politicians is utterly i...
COMMENTARY
A valued but mistreated professional
I did not know much on a personal level about Dimitris Stefanou, Greece’s former administrative reform general secretary who died earlier this week at the age of 46. I did, however, have a s...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Doctors probed after pregnant woman is turned away twice in northern Greece
2. Momentum drags bourse further down
3. Deputy Supreme Court prosecutor resigns ´for personal reasons´
4. Second mineral water brand banned over E coli concerns
5. Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
6. Public order minister set to reopen Acropolis police precinct
more news
Today
This Week
1. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
2. Six firms submit bids to lease Vouliagmeni beach
3. IMF's Lagarde not sure yet about debt relief for Greece
4. Coalition submits new proposals for Greek coastline
5. EU Commissioner Damanaki unlikely to return to Greek politics
6. Police arrest one, seek another three over counterfeit goods
Today
This Week
1. Unequal after death
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
4. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
5. Front-line threats
6. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.