Saturday November 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o 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)  
Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
Turkish-Greek cooperation in Aegean helps stem flow of migrants
Holocaust memorial in Athens vandalized
Turkey raises tensions, insisting on keeping vessel off Cyprus
Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
The reduction of Greek households’ disposable incomes in 2013 compared with 2012 amounted to a total of 14 billion euros, the biggest since the start of the crisis according to data released...
Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
Bank officials are expressing serious reservations about the efficiency of the government’s bill regarding nonperforming corporate loans, arguing that the target set by the Development Minis...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
Captain Vassilis Spanoulis helped Olympiakos narrowly avoid an upset on Friday as it defeated Euroleague debutant Neptunas Klaipeda 85-81 in overtime in Lithuania to preserve its perfect sta...
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The judiciary’s responsibility
The reform efforts over the past few years have begun to bear fruit. Greece has improved its standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, rising 48 positions from 2010 to 61st place...
EDITORIAL
Findings raise eyebrows
An investigation into money transferred to foreign banks by civil servants since 2010, when Greece’s brutal debt crisis erupted, has come up with some striking findings. The checks, which we...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
2. Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
3. Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
4. State debtor numbers grew in September
5. Reform plan among conditions
6. Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
more news
Today
This Week
1. Archaeologists find underground vault at Amphipolis tomb
2. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
3. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
4. Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
5. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
6. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.