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The Prime Minister announced the completion of talks with lenders

30 October 2012 / 20:10:39  GRReporter
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Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced the official completion of the talks 51 days after the last visit of the supervisory mission of lenders of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission. The inspection of the state of the Greek economy, which began on 9 September this year, was initially expected to last no more than 10 days. The severity of the fiscal measures the government had to coordinate and the internal political bickering in the government of the country turned the talks with lenders into a media drama that a few hours ago seemed without an end.
 
"Today, we completed the talks on the measures and the draft budget. We did what was possible. We tried all possible means of exerting pressure and extending the time. We have managed to attain some improvements, although they came at the last moment," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a written statement. He stressed that the adoption of the fiscal adjustment programme and the budget for next year will not only ensure Greece’s remaining in the euro zone, but will also outline its evolving from the crisis. Samaras stressed that with the completion of talks, the country would receive over 31 billion euro of vital importance for the real economy.

The Prime Minister is adamant that if Greece does not accept the measures agreed with the international lenders, the country will fall into chaos, both economical and political. "Such dangers must be avoided. That is the responsibility of each party and of every lawmaker individually," Samaras said in conclusion. The implication of personal responsibility was mainly directed at the Democratic Left’s members of the coalition government.

The party led by Fotis Kouvelis seriously resisted last week the measures related to the changes in labour legislation. Its members said they would not vote for the adoption of cutting the benefits for dismissal and a series of other measures related to the labour market reform.

The Democratic Left’s message in response to that of the Prime Minister was not late in coming. It said the party had tried to fight to protect the labour rights of ordinary citizens gained in a democratic manner. "It does not agree with the measures adopted. The Democratic Left adheres to its position," the left party said laconically, which has not yet withdrawn its support of the coalition government.

PASOK and New Democracy collect between 158 and 160 votes in the National Assembly at present if the Democratic Left withdraws its vote of confidence in the government or decides not to support the package of measures. The government needs 151 votes to adopt the fiscal adjustment and the budget for 2013. Although many Greek political analysts claim that the measures agreed with the lenders’ mission would be adopted, isolating Fotis Kouvelis’ party from the process would cause serious damage to the coalition government and would shake the stability of the cabinet.

The next move of the Democratic Left is not yet known but it is certain that at 11 am on Wednesday, Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras will submit the draft budget for 2013 and the plan for the upcoming privatizations to parliament for the first reading. A videoconference of euro zone ministers will follow, at which Stournaras will present the final version of the agreement between the Greek government and the lenders’ Troika. At the beginning of next week, the measures and the budget should be adopted to enable Greece to receive the long-awaited aid of 31.5 billion euro in mid November.

Tags: EconomyMarketsPoliticsTalksLendersSamarasKouvelis
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