Gov’t in all-night talks with creditors over multi-bill

Gov’t in all-night talks with creditors over multi-bill

Government officials were in talks with representatives of the country’s international lenders into the early hours of Tuesday, putting the final touches on a multi-bill containing the final measures Greece needs to legislate to enter the last stretch of its current bailout program.

A regulation making it harder for labor unions to call strikes and another allowing the state to electronically auction off the assets of debtors are the two main sticking points for the leftist-led government, which fears public reaction.

A government source told Kathimerini that the leftist-led administration is in favor of the regulation allowing the state to conduct electronic foreclosures, as this would not only benefit the country’s banks but also make the process more transparent by cutting out profiteering middlemen.

According to the source, initial reservations on behalf of the lenders regarding the wording of this particular clause were overcome in overnight talks and the measure will go to lawmakers for ratification, with an additional change to the Public Revenue Collection Code so that any assets currently being conducted physically will be able to become electronic.

The source also admitted that creditors expressed some annoyance over the special handouts made by the government in the past few months without first securing their consent, but said this was not expected to become an issue.

The multi-bill is about 600 pages long, the government sources said, and it covers some 60 of 110 prior actions. Of these, 30 have already been settled and the remaining 20 will be enacted over the next few days in ministerial decisions.

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