Ten new direct and indirect taxes will be introduced in order to bring revenue of 5 billion euros in 2011, as it became known after the meeting between Minister of finance George Papakonstantinou and the director of the Bank of Greece Georgios Provopoulos who signed an updated Memorandum for Economic and financial policy.
According to the memorandum, even those insured in the health insurance funds will pay a fee of three euros for medical examinations in the external for the hospitals offices and the pockets of consumers will be further emptied by the new increases in the price of electricity. The government is trying to find additional resources through cuts in costs and tax collection which should bring 9.775 million euros for the next two years under the agreements with the creditors of the "triple" - the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. 6.35 million euros of this amount should be collected in 2011, and in 2012 - 3.425 million euros. Besides the updated memorandum in case a deviation is observed from the targets set and the earnings fall below the programmed for a given period, then the government will have to take additional measures.
To achieve this objective the memorandum must be followed unswervingly, and the country will be monitored each month by the teams of the "Triple". In this regard, the Minister of Finance is given the right to veto the decisions of other ministries on matters relating to their budget. Meanwhile, the draft budget for 2011 is expected to be ready in the beginning of October.
The "new memorandum" includes measures to change the operation system of the hospitals, railway and generally of the public sector. They will change the working conditions, as well as the subject of the work of hundreds of thousands of employees both in the public and private sectors.
The three euros, which will have to be paid by the health insured patients for the examinations in hospitals are expected to help strengthen the budgets of hospitals and the improvement of services offered. In its turn, the Ministry of Finance has hired private economists, to help for a better management of the finances of hospitals and to control the costs and the payment of the bills. The Government is expected to create conditions for the decrease of the prices of medicines.
As for the state railway, the project involves stopping of the trains from the routs which are not profitable, increasing the prices of the tickets and cutting part of the staff. The bill for the reform of the railways will be discussed in parliament by the end of September and hopefullythe railways will have a profit by the end of the fiscal year 2011.
Directly will affect the pockets of consumers also the stage increase in prices of electricity by 2013 and there will be also special conditions for the payment of bills for the so called "vulnerable consumers". The task of the government is first to define the concept of "vulnerable customers" in order to proceed to the creation of a price list for payment under more favorable conditions for this category. In near futue the government will present its detailed plans for the liberation of the energy market, according to the EU requirements.
In the autumn will also be proposed a law for the opening of the closed professions, which include those of lawyers, pharmacists, notaries, architects, engineers and chartered accountants. European partners have recommended to improve the functioning of the Statistical Service of Greece.
Stringent measures which the Government has taken up to now have not brought the expected revenue in the national treasure and they are well below the target set and this is a reason for the creditors of the country to be concerned. Nevertheless, Greece received a praise by the European Commission for the pace, of the fulfillment of the conditions under the Memorandum for the first six months and confirmed the second installment of the loan amounting to 9 billion euros. The only antidote to the deepening of the recession recommended by the European Commission to the Greek government is to deal with tax evasion and to improve its fiscal management.