ECONOMY

Revenues grow at IKA and OAEE

The representatives of Greece’s foreign creditors, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, were reportedly impressed during their visit to the Labor Ministry yesterday, as they learned that Social Security Foundation (IKA) revenues had increased 1.8 percent while those of the Organization for the Self-Employed (OAEE) had risen 6 percent. Minister Andreas Loverdos attributed this rather small but significant rise in revenues to the activation of monitoring mechanisms and stressed his satisfaction regarding the data on pharmaceutical expenditure. At IKA spending on pharmaceuticals declined by 25.79 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2009, while at OAEE it contracted by 13.94 percent year-on-year. May data for the Agricultural Insurance Organization (OGA) showed its pharmaceutical expenditure dropped by 3.32 percent. The above data, as well as regulations on labor issues which came ahead of schedule, led the EC, IMF and ECB officials to praise the Labor Ministry’s contribution in implementing the memorandum that Greece signed with its creditors. Immediately after his meeting with the visiting experts, Loverdos spoke of absolute agreement between the two sides on what the memorandum provides for, as well as the ministry’s policies and the legislative interventions. The meeting came after the foreign representatives visited IKA, OAEE and auxiliary social security funds. After these inspections, the consensus was that the auxiliary funds should stick to the timetable dictated by the new law regarding the social security system. As a result, actuarial studies will have to start in the fall so that their conclusions will be ready come out by next spring. Loverdos reiterated that, apart from the Geniki Bank fund, there are no problems with other auxiliary funds. He did, however, appear reserved about the results of the actuarial studies that will determine the extent of the new social security regulations and stressed that the actuarial study based on the new conditions resulting from the social security reform will be completed in early October by the National Actuarial Authority. A smaller state sector The president of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), Dimitris Daskalopoulos, also met with the troika and expressed his view that the economy depends on the decisive promotion of planned structural changes to return to growth. On the occasion of the foreign experts’ visit to SEV yesterday, Daskalopoulos said that a key condition for that is the reduction of state interventionism, public spending and the size of the state itself.