Friday October 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
22o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Coalition sets out policies on bailout, growth and political reform

Fotis Kouvelis (left) of Democratic Left, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (center) of New Democracy and Evangelos Venizelos (right) of PASOK in a photograph taken during coalition talks last week.

Greece’s coalition government –- only the country’s third in more than 40 years –- unveiled over the weekend the policy platform which it hopes will provide the basis for cooperation between its three components -- New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left.

The document set out the main points of Greece’s loan agreement that the coalition would like to renegotiate but also set out policy in a number of other areas, including growth, taxation and reform of the political system.

In terms of the bailout, the three parties agreed to ask Greece’s lenders for two more years, up to 2016, to bring the public deficit under 3 percent of gross domestic product. This would allow the government to meet its fiscal targets without making further cuts to wages, pensions and the public investment program. Instead, savings would be made from tackling corruption, waste, tax evasion and the shadow economy.

The coalition also intends to ask for permission to extend unemployment benefit from one year to two and to limit any outstanding tax payments to 25 percent of each taxpayer’s income, with the remainder to be paid in two annual payments over the next two years. The government also wants to reduce value added tax for food catering to 13 percent from 23 and to replace all property taxes with a single, progressive charge.

In what could prove its most controversial proposal, the coalition proposes that no civil servants should be fired. The process to privatize state assets, however, will not be shelved. The coalition wants it to be linked to a growth strategy, not just for revenue purposes.

It puts forward a “national regeneration plan” based on identifying sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, that should be targeted for growth and better us of EU structural funds. The government also wants to overhaul the tax system in favor of one that will remain stable for the next 10 years.

In terms of political reform, the parties suggest checks on the assets of all those who served as ministers and senior civil servants since 1974. They also propose that ministers’ immunity should be lifted if they are accused of committing financial crimes. Similarly, MPs should lose their immunity if they commit offenses not related to their political activity. Deputies will also lose extra payment for taking part in parliamentary committees and new MPs will not receive a pension after serving two terms in Parliament, as they do now. Instead, they will receive a normal state pension. Former deputies who are already receiving pensions will have those payments capped.

The coalition also wants to set up an independent body to inspect the finances of political parties and MPs. Parties will have their public financing reduced.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday June 24, 2012 (21:47)  
Interior Minister accused of not paying his health fund contributions
EU leaders to support Cyprus over EEZ rights
Protests over university security persist
Samaras, Juncker examine Greek proposal for emerging from bailout
Tax rate cut in catering sector has paid off
The reduction in the value-added tax on catering has not only resulted in smaller-than-expected revenue losses for the state coffers, it has also stemmed the flow of restaurant shutdowns and...
Improvement in VAT collection
While Greece came top among European Union states in terms of improving its value-added tax deficit in 2012, it still ranks among those with the biggest problems in VAT collection. According...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
BASKETBALL
Greens succumb to first loss at Bayern
Panathinaikos’s unbeaten run in all competitions came an end on Thursday as the Greek champion lost 81-75 at Bayern Munich for the Euroleague. Bayern is a team that improves every year, and ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Tension for tension’s sake?
It is evident that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan feeds off tension. He would barely have achieved as much as he has – and prevailed – if he had not been so keen to confront a series...
COMMENTARY
Defusing a crisis
The crisis in Cyprus is escalating rapidly and defusing it is an extremely delicate and complicated procedure that will inevitably lead to losses for the weakest of the two sides. The course...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
2. Greens succumb to first loss at Bayern
3. Tax rate cut in catering sector has paid off
4. Improvement in VAT collection
5. Just two banks seen to require more capital
6. Solidarity levy extended to 2016 in bid to meet targets
more news
Today
This Week
1. Strong winds hamper sea travel
2. TBEX brings together 800 travel bloggers in Athens
3. Samaras to represent Anastasiades at European Council meeting
4. Cyprus president to sit out EU summit due to high blood pressure
5. Spanish unemployment lowest since 2011 as economy grows
6. Arrivals show increase in January-June 2014 period
Today
This Week
1. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
2. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
3. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
4. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
5. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
6. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.