NEWS

Economic policy, privatizations at center of activity

The government is set for a busy week, during which it is expected to present finalized plans of its economic policy between 2012 and 2015 and for its privatization program.

However, this will take place against a backdrop of considerable upheaval within the ruling PASOK party.

A number of Socialist MPs have already voiced their concern about the direction of the government?s economic policy and have suggested that Greece needs to renegotiate the terms of its emergency loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund before taking any more measures.

Prime Minister George Papandreou will begin his week by attending on Monday the presentation at the Development Ministry of the government?s plans to allow entrepreneurs to set up companies within 24 hours.

It is likely that later in the day, the Cabinet will be briefed by Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou about the plan for the 2012-2015 period. The issue of privatizations is also likely to be on the agenda.

On Tuesday, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy will visit Athens and it is possible that the Greek government might make public some of its privatization plans with the aim of raising 50 billion euros by 2015.

On Wednesday, Papandreou is set to chair a meeting of PASOK?s parliamentary group, when he is likely to try and quell any rebellion within the Socialist party and urge MPs to pull together.

On Thursday or Friday, the Cabinet is due to meet again to finalize the details of the 2012-2015 plan and to agree on measures designed to boost growth.