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live Greece is tenacious when it comes to the salaries and the budget commissioner

29 January 2012 / 21:01:38  GRReporter
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The country is ready after all to privatize some enterprises and also to create some off-shore areas in order to attract investments. None of the three party leaders, however, who stand behind the government of Lucas Papademos, is optimistic that this will do the "trick" before the supervisory Troika.

The meeting of the Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos with the three party leaders who supported his government - George Papandreou on behalf of PASOK, Antonis Samaras from New Democracy and George Karadzeferis from Laos, lasted for two hours and 45 minutes. None of the three made a statement on his way out of the Prime Minister’s residence and some sources from the "inside" are talking about blight. After the meeting Papademos made a televised address in which he explained verbosely and vaguely that creditors have laid down severe conditions for the granting of the second package of financial assistance. None of the three party leaders, who also made official statements following the Prime Minister, showed even a trace of optimism that the negotiations on the new loan will be completed successfully.

Lucas Papademos and the three party leaders have agreed on three items:
1. It will be very difficult for the condition of the Troika to reduce salaries in the private sector to pass in the Greek Parliament without having the consent of the social partners on this issue who naturally oppose it. Even if party leaders sign this request, they themselves admitted that their parliamentary groups would vote against it.
2. None of the three party leaders agreed with the German proposal for a budget commissioner and all three of them sharply rejected it. They reminded that it is not contained in the decisions of the European Council taken on the 26th and 27th of October 2011 regarding the second rescue package.
3. The Prime Minister and the party leaders have agreed after all to yield regarding the privatization, regarding some of the bonuses for Christmas and Easter, and also to set a territory in the country which will adopt the status of an off-shore area in order to attract investments.

At 5 pm the Prime Minister Lucas Papademos travelled to Brussels, where tomorrow he will talk to the leaders of the European Union countries. His assistants reported his concern that he would disappoint their partners with the decision not to proceed with the reduction of salaries and to ignore the German request for a budget commissioner. They stressed the fact that "There are insurmountable difficulties on the one hand and on the other - clear necessity to continue the negotiations in order to avoid bankruptcy".

"Negotiations are not easy. Despite the progress in stabilizing the economy, despite the sacrifices and the changes and because of the delays in the reforms we failed to achieve the targets that were set and our partners are laying down some additional conditions. We want to reach an agreement in order to get out of the uncertainty and restore the confidence in the country", the Greek Prime Minister said in his address to the nation.
    In turn, the President of New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, announced that he strongly opposes the reduction of the salaries in the private sector and is against the cuts in the pension benefits. These were part of the conditions of the supervisory Troika in order for it to grant the new rescue package. He even accused Lucas Papademos for not negotiating firmly enough with its representatives. "Our creditors do not mention anywhere the economic growth and this is exactly what we should negotiate for", said Samaras in his official statement after the meeting.

    The President of the far-right party LAOS, George Karadzeferis, said that he agrees with the position of Antonis Samaras and suggested that the conditions of the supervisory Troika be sent for approval by the European Parliament. According to him precisely the MEPs have jurisdiction to consider whether these conditions comply with EU legislation and whether they are in line with the Lisbon Treaty.
    The only one who has given complete carte blanche to Lucas Papademos for his manoeuvres in Brussels was the President of PASOK George Papandreou. He has committed to advocate for the Greek cause also before the Party of European Socialists. "The meetings of political leaders strengthen our position in the negotiations and increase the confidence in Greece," Papandreou said.

Tags: bankruptcy of Greece Lucas Papadеmos eurozone creditors debt negotiation economic crisis salaries
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