Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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)  
Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
No court hearings for civil cases
Greece’s lenders seem adamant that gov’t must act on bailout commitments
Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Economic reforms in Cyprus are starting to yield results, the government said on Saturday after one credit-rating agency upgraded its rating and a second its outlook for the bailed-out count...
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
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 ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
End of reason, end of humanity
The effects of a slew of new and increased taxes introduced since the start of the crisis were first observed in the wages of those still fortunate enough to have jobs, who saw their take-ho...
EDITORIAL
Banks need to step up
What has been leaked so far regarding the results of the stress tests on Greece’s lenders, which are due to be published on Sunday, appears positive. Greece needs a healthy, private banking ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. No court hearings for civil cases
4. Greece’s lenders seem adamant that gov’t must act on bailout commitments
5. Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
6. Policeman admits to murder of his cousin-in-law
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Banks need to step up
3. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. No court hearings for civil cases
6. Two small boats sink at Lavrio port
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.