Monday April 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Gov't, troika reach deal, paving way for aid release

 PM confirms that 15,000 civil servants to go by end of 2014
The IMF’s troika representative to Greece Poul Thomsen (right) speaks as Greek Financial Minister Yannis Stournaras listens during a conference on the economy in central Athens on Monday.

Government and troika officials on Monday announced that they had finally reached a deal on a series of contentious reforms – including thousands of layoffs in the civil service – following two weeks of tough talks, paving the way for the release of crucial rescue funding over the coming days.

After Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras heralded the breakthrough on Monday morning, telling reporters, “We have a deal,” Prime Minister Antonis Samaras gave a triumphant televised address in which he sought to reassure Greeks that three years of tough measures had not been in vain.

“The sacrifices are beginning to pay off,” he said, adding that “the situation is changing, the psychology is changing.“ “Until recently, Greece had been an example to avoid in Europe,” he said, echoing Stournaras’s conviction that Greece would achieve a primary surplus this year, allowing it to seek more debt relief.

The premier also confirmed that a total of 15,000 civil servants would be dismissed before the end of 2014, with 4,000 to go this year, but he stressed that each departure would be replaced by a new recruit. “The same number of new people will be recruited in their place,” he said.

Poul Thomsen, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to Greece, struck a similar note at a conference in Athens organized by The Economist, saying that public sector staff “will not be eliminated but replaced by young, capable people.” He did not confirm explicitly that the one-hiring-to-one-firing ratio would apply.

Thomsen stressed that Greece had “indeed come a long way” with its reform program, noting that “the fiscal adjustment has been exceptional by any standard.” He noted, however, that major challenges remained. “Tax evasion remains a huge problem,” he said. Nevertheless, Greece has ticked enough boxes to put it on course for the release of a 2.8-billion-euro loan tranche that had been due in March as well as 7.2 billion euros for the recapitalization of the country’s banks, the envoy said.

An official statement issued jointly by the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, which have jointly extended Greece two foreign bailouts worth 240 billion euros since 2010, confirmed that the creditors were happy with the government’s performance. “Fiscal performance is on track to meet the program targets, and the government is committed to fully implement all agreed fiscal measures for 2013-2014 that are not yet in place,” the statement said, adding that the release of a loan tranche of 2.8 billion euros that had been due in March “could be agreed soon by the euro-area member states.”

The deal with the troika prompted angry responses from opposition parties, with Alexis Tsipras, the head of the main leftist opposition SYRIZA, taking particular issue with the civil service layoffs which he described as “human sacrifices.“ “Instead of emerging from the crisis, we are sinking further and further into it,” he said.

ekathimerini.com , Monday April 15, 2013 (21:57)  
Greek Christians mark rare Good Friday in north Cyprus
Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
Talks lined up in wake of ‘shameful’ soccer scenes
Dimou quits To Potami over Holy Fire quip
Eurobank share offering on April 25-29
Greece's third largest lender Eurobank, which is issuing new shares to help plug a capital shortfall, said on Friday that the cash call will take place from April 25 to 29. The transaction o...
PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
Public Power Corporation is planning to tap the markets after Easter with the issue of a corporate bond to draw 500 million euros. The Energy Ministry is also eagerly awaiting the issue, as ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Greens lose badly as CSKA Moscow
Panathinaikos has a mountain to climb in order to reach the Final Four of the Euroleague after losing at CSKA Moscow on Friday for a second time in two days, only this time it was comprehens...
BASKETBALL
Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakos´s hopes for a break
Olympiakos tried harder in Game 2 of the Euroleague play-offs in Spain, and Real Madrid was not as good on Thursday as in Game 1, but the Spaniards still emerged victorious on the night with...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The placebo effect and the economy
Among the greatest mistakes made in the years of Greece’s hard landing is that citizens did not get the chance to sense that aside from austerity and pain the economic adjustment program als...
COMMENTARY
Ukraine is a crisis—but not a Cold War
Given Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the imposition of US and European sanctions, and the potential for more escalation in Ukraine, we are witnessing the most important geopolitical events s...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek Christians mark rare Good Friday in north Cyprus
2. Eurobank share offering on April 25-29
3. Greens lose badly as CSKA Moscow
4. Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakos´s hopes for a break
5. PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
6. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
more news
Today
This Week
Today
This Week
1. Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists
2. Parties start announcing candidates for European Parliament elections
3. Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone
4. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
5. IMF's Thomsen says Greece not fully financed to 2016
6. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.