Thursday Jul 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
23o 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)  
PPC to look into death of disabled customer
Boutaris plans Islamic art museum for Thessaloniki
PM, Venizelos meet as Administrative Reform Ministry eases stance on evaluation
Activists launch flotilla against Syria chemicals
IMF insists on eurozone lightening Greece’s debt
The International Monetary Fund insists that Greece’s debt needs to be restructured and is waiting for the issue to be discussed this fall in the context of the Greek economy’s next assessme...
Investors buy into possible rating upgrade
The prospects of a Greek sovereign debt rating upgrade by Moody’s next Friday pushed most local stocks higher on Thursday on improved, but still not satisfactory, turnover. The Athens Exchan...
Inside Business
TRACK & FIELD
Athens, the Marathon capital of the world for good
Paco Borao, the man who restored Athens as the Marathon capital of the world with the establishment at the Olympic Sports Center of the headquarters of the International Association of Marat...
TRACK & FIELD
Pole vault record on same day as three doping cases
Greek track and field had a mixed weekend, as on the same day as Katerina Stefanidi matched the national record in pole vault as well as the leading result in Europe so far this season, thre...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
When evaluation is seen as useless
The reactions toward the government’s plans for an evaluation of public sector workers are completely unsurprising. Civil servants – and not just the unions that represent them – abhor the m...
EDITORIAL
Playing the good guy
There is a part of the government that is striving to fulfill the commitments that Greece has undertaken toward its foreign creditors, most of which pertain to reforms that are absolutely es...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. IMF insists on eurozone lightening Greece’s debt
2. Investors buy into possible rating upgrade
3. PPC to look into death of disabled customer
4. Boutaris plans Islamic art museum for Thessaloniki
5. PM, Venizelos meet as Administrative Reform Ministry eases stance on evaluation
6. Activists launch flotilla against Syria chemicals
more news
Today
This Week
1. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
2. Democracy 'retreated' during crisis, says Papoulias
3. Efforts continue on Crete to find 'Sifis' the crocodile
4. Family of deceased woman on life support says application for 'special status' had been filed with PPC
5. Medical assistance for Acropolis visitors
6. Presidential election will not lead to snap elections, Samaras tells ND deputies
Today
This Week
1. The cost of excellence
2. Ex-Credit Suisse banker taps lesson for Greek rebound
3. Greece seen in third bailout as bonds not enough, economists say
4. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
5. Greek banks able to tap investors after stress tests, HFSF Says
6. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.