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The agreement with the Troika is close

13 April 2013 / 15:04:09  GRReporter
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Following a six-hour meeting of Deputy Minister of Finance Christos Staykouras with leaders of the Troika, senior ministry officials expressed hope that open issues will be closed tomorrow. Meanwhile, participants in Eurogroup’s meeting in Dublin informed that the Greek delegation was subjected to pressure - unless there is an agreement at least on the issue of civil servants by Tuesday, the 2.8 billion instalment will not be paid by the end of April. According to the same sources, there should be an agreement that will also include mandatory lay-offs of state employees. Lenders want to have quarterly schedules for lay-offs of civil servants by the end of 2014: not only those who have violated their oath, but also the so-called "slackers."

In parallel, discussions on overdue liabilities of individuals to tax authorities and social security funds, the new tax that will replace the special property tax which is paid together with electricity bills, as well as on the settlement of bad banks loans are still continuing. All these issues have already been agreed, but a lot of details still need to be negotiated. According to government sources, "the devil" may be precisely in these details.

In terms of the 6 billion euro instalment for the first quarter of 2013, most probability an agreement will be required on the revised memorandum which will have to include, among other things, the recapitalisation of banks, privatisation and opening of closed professions.

Meanwhile, on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will have a meeting with political leaders who support the government of PASOK – President of PASOK Evangelos Venizelos and leader of the Democratic Left Fotis Kouvelis.

Earlier, PASOK’s representatives emphasised the need for the completion of negotiations with the Troika as soon as possible. According to them, it is vital for the Greek economy, the confidence of the Greeks and the international image of the country that no uncertainties are reproduced whenever representatives of the Troika visit Greece. According to the same sources, because of the Pan-European nervousness and events in Cyprus, it is absolutely necessary for Greece to fully exploit the fact that it has a programme which is of the "old" type (before the events in Cyprus) with a loan of 240 billion euro, with which the full recapitalisation of its banks is happening.

As for the public administration’s problems, it is believed that an agreement with the Troika will be reached by Sunday. It is noted that the adoption of the 1:1 rule for the disciplinary nature of lay-offs characterises them as restructuring rather than financial lay-offs. As for overdue liabilities, it is emphasised that rules should be as realistic as possible and close to what firms and households can afford. In parallel, rules regarding excessive liabilities and non-performing loans should be equally useful for banks, firms and households. Sources also noted the Troika’s positive response to PASOK’s proposal for the transfer of funds under ESPA programme to the European Social Fund within the combat against unemployment.

A new SYRIZA-Kedikoglou confrontation

The end of discussions between the government and the Troika can be represented again as a national success. In June, however, there will be new measures in order to "cover" failures of the previous months, which will further burden people, SYRIZA commented. The party also commented on the government’s loyalty to the programme of the memorandum as "a premeditated murder of Greek society."

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou defined SYRIZA’s rhetoric as characteristic of the Civil War. "In order to support its extreme claims, today, SYRIZA resorted to slogans of the Civil War. However, nobody is following it ... " said Kedikoglou.

Independent Greeks: They have gone beyond all bounds

Ever since the moment when the government started agreeing with everything, minor officials of the Troika have gone beyond all bounds, introducing new requirements, after having already secured massive lay-offs of thousands of state employees, said Independent Greeks’ parliamentary representative Notis Marias.

The Communist Party: negotiations will lead to new measures

The Communist Party warned that negotiations will lead to new measures against workers. According to the party, lay-offs of thousands of employees are being provided and, at the same time, the rest day on Sunday will be annulled, and new taxes and privatisation will be imposed. The party urged workers to defy violence and propaganda of the government and not allow themselves to be oppressed.

Tags: Troika negotiations lay-offs of state employees instalment
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