Gov’t drafts flurry of bills to bolster positive narrative

Gov’t drafts flurry of bills to bolster positive narrative

The government is drafting a series of bills to go to Parliament in the coming days with the hope that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be able to showcase them during his speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) to bolster his narrative of the country turning a page and heading toward recovery and growth.

Sources close to Tsipras are in daily contact with Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis, planning the order in which the bills currently being drafted will be brought to the House next week. “The government will not have time to approve all the legislation that is being drawn up,” one of Tsipras’s aides told Kathimerini.

“The important thing is that we manage to bring the drafts to Parliament next week, to put them up for debate at committee level, so that they can be referred to as parts of the government’s productive legislative work,” the aide said, apparently referring to Tsipras’s speech at TIF.

The first bill expected to be presented to lawmakers in the House on Monday is being drafted by the Labor and Social Insurance Ministry and is expected to introduce changes to the system of social security contributions while trying to crack down on widespread uninsured labor.

The government council on social policy, known by its acronym KYSKOIP, is set to convene on Thursday morning under Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis, and is expected to focus on finalizing the Labor Ministry’s bill.

Members will also discuss proposed reforms to the state education system that Tsipras plans to unveil during his TIF speech including changes to the university entrance system.

While Tsipras’s aides prepare for his appearance before prominent politicians and entrepreneurs at the Thessaloniki fair, diplomats are in touch with their counterparts in several Balkan countries which the Greek premier is planning to visit over the coming months.

A trip to Bulgaria is said to be a priority as Tsipras is keen to clinch an agreement for the construction of a rail link between the ports of Alexandroupoli and Varna.

Greek officials are also hoping to secure commitments from French firms that have expressed an interest in investing in the Thessaloniki Port Authority.

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