Four key measures left for this month

There are just four measures left for Greece to implement – albeit very important ones – within this month as demanded by the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers. While the agreement with the country’s creditors provides for more than 40 steps that have to be completed by the end of the year, the following measures are essential:

– The voting of the tax bill. The memorandum of understanding provides for the country’s creditors to study the tax reform, and unless it secures revenues of 1.8 billion euros within 2014, the government will have to bring in new measures for fiscal targets to be met in 2014. The government must also introduce measures to improve the tax administration within the month.

– The adoption of laws to speed up privatizations. The country’s creditors place great significance on the independence of the state privatization fund (TAIPED), while remaining very suspicious of Greek governments. Given that the debt sustainability assessment relies to a great extent on sell-off revenues, the government now has to secure the rapid implementation of the program so as to avoid any further delays or shortfalls that would change the forecasts for the course of the state debt.

– The creation of a regulatory framework for the country’s water companies, mainly those of Athens (EYDAP) and Thessaloniki (EYATH). These two utilities are in the privatizations program and the creation of such a framework will have to precede any sell-off move for them.

– The completion of the reform concerning auxiliary social security funds. The aim is for their benefits to correspond to the level of contributions.

Besides these four steps that the Eurogroup has singled out, the government intends to implement as many measures dictated by the memorandum as possible, although it is all but certain that it will not manage to complete all its obligations before the end of the year.

One more important measure, according to the draft of the new memorandum, is the announcement by the Bank of Greece of the capital requirements of all commercial banks, which have been told that they have until December 21 to announce their financial results.

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