Wednesday August 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o 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)  
Syrian chemicals were safely destroyed off Crete, says OPCW
Greece to give children at primary school road safety lessons
Two missing men found shot dead near Kalamata
Dendias talks tax, funds in Germany
Greek firms see 30 pct rise in PayPal payments from abroad in 2014
The payments that Greek firms received via PayPal increased by 30 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2013, according to new data from the online payment com...
Greek current account surplus widens in June
Greece's current account surplus widened in June compared to the same month last year, according to balance of payments figures released by the central bank on Wednesday. The surplus stood a...
Inside Business
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greece´s second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
SWIMMING
Silver for Greece in 5k team event at European Swimming Championships
Greece claimed the silver in the team 5 kilometer event at the 32nd European Swimming Championships in Berlin on Saturday. The Greek team of Spyros Gianniotis, Antonis Fokaidis and Kalliopi ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Logged out of reality
It is a global phenomenon, and we have yet to fully grasp its implications for democracy and the functionality of Western states. The Internet is a bottomless well of information and a vast ...
EDITORIAL
Manipulated institutions
Greece’s leftist opposition must not manipulate an institution as important as the President of the Republic for the sake of political ends. Regrettably, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras appears...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Syrian chemicals were safely destroyed off Crete, says OPCW
2. Greek firms see 30 pct rise in PayPal payments from abroad in 2014
3. Greece to give children at primary school road safety lessons
4. Greek current account surplus widens in June
5. Two missing men found shot dead near Kalamata
6. ECB in policy limbo, boxed in by its own plans
more news
Today
This Week
1. Two missing men found shot dead near Kalamata
2. ECB in policy limbo, boxed in by its own plans
3. Logged out of reality
4. Greek current account surplus widens in June
5. Greece to give children at primary school road safety lessons
6. Greek firms see 30 pct rise in PayPal payments from abroad in 2014
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Samaras expects 'exceptionally important find' at Ancient Amphipolis
3. Rhodes villa built for Mussolini among properties Greek privatization fund is selling
4. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
5. Treating Amphipolis with care
6. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.