ECONOMY

Finance Ministry multibill to follow expected Eurogroup approval of next Greek loan tranche

An approval from Monday’s Eurogroup for Greece to receive further bailout funding will trigger a new multi-bill being submitted in Greek Parliament so the “prior actions” agreed with the troika can be adopted.

This legislation is almost certain to be submitted to the House this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday so the latest troika review of the Greek program can be officially included.

Among the measures agreed with the officials from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund are a luxury tax that will be implemented from this year in order to help close a 2-billion-euro funding gap for 2013 and 2014.

The two sides have also agreed that the unified property tax will be applied from next year and will be collected by tax offices, not through electricity bills. It is expected to raise up to 2.9 billion euros per year.

There was also an agreement to reduce pensions for retired military personnel and to slash 125 million euros from the defense budget.

The Greek government also agreed to expand the number of people insured by the fund for the self-employed, OAEE, in order to cover a 600-million-euro shortfall in its finances.

The Eurogroup is expected to approve the disbursal of another 6.3 billion euros for Greece on Monday, with another 1.8 billion euros to follow from the IMF.

Of the 6.3 billion euros from the eurozone, Greece is expected to receive 3 billion euros this month and another 1.8 billion in September, when the troika’s milestones have been met.

Finance Ministry sources said this is enough for Greece to meet its financing needs until the end of September.