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Creditors cooled optimism of the Minister of Finance

28 September 2013 / 13:09:15  GRReporter
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Budget 2014 remains open, since there are still many issues to be discussed, despite yesterday's four-hour talks with representatives of the supervisory Troika at the Ministry of Finance.

A senior official of the Ministry of Finance said that "there are more areas that need to be examined", pointing out three typical examples, which have not yet been agreed with the Troika. Moreover, according to him, these disagreements "are associated with billions of euro." In particular, the following issues are concerned:

- The bill on the uniform property tax as of 2014

- Initiatives that need to be taken in terms of social security funds (today's meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Labour)

- Estimates of the General Accounting Directorate on "tax compliance" (an increase in tax revenue due to the gradual recovery of the economy).

On the other hand, it was agreed that extra taxes will not be levied on businesses for the benefit of the insurance company of liberal professions, and that the common payroll table will not apply to uniformed services officers.

According to representatives of the Ministry of Finance, rumours that there is a gap to the amount of 5 billion euro in the 2014 budget which needs to be filled through new measures "are not true".

The closure of the issue with the 2014 budget is not associated with the introduction of the draft into parliament, but of the final plan for it, which will happen on October 7.

As for the 2013 budget, a senior Finance Ministry official noted that "obviously we are very close to the end of the matter, since there is a consensus on key indicators. Recession will reach 4% and a slight 0.6% increase in GDP is foreseen in 2014. However, according to the available data, the primary surplus is expected to reach 100 million euro."

So far, it is not clear when the leaders of the Troika, who will visit the country again after Eurogroup’s meeting on 14 October, will depart from Athens. However, technical teams will remain in Greece in order to continue negotiations with representatives of the ministries.

On Saturday, yet another meeting is expected at the Finance Ministry, following talks of the Troika with the Prime Minister.

Upon the next visit of the Troika, there will be an answer to the issue with mobility of civil servants

During their next visit to Greece, representatives of the Troika will meet the demand made by the Ministry of Administrative Reform, for an extension in terms of the "second wave" of mobility of 12,500 civil servants, as well as other issues raised by responsible Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at yesterday's two-hour meeting between the two sides.

During the negotiations, the Ministry of Administrative Reform stressed that set goals were achieved when the period of "the first wave" of mobility was extended.

As with the previous meeting, yesterday, Mitsotakis asked representatives of international creditors for a little extra time (two to three months) for the "second wave" of mobility so that objectives could be achieved in the best possible way.

SYRIZA: Creditors and the government "are maiming" the state

MP of SYRIZA Alexis Mitropoulos said that yesterday's decision of the State Council was important. According to the decision, the so-called labour reserve in the public sector will be declared unconstitutional. According to the MP, the decision is a sign that the regime of mobility "which lenders and government are discussing now, and in this way maiming the Greek state," will also be declared unconstitutional.

This decision is very important, but the democratic struggle against disastrous policies of the memoranda is even more important, he added, and concluded: "The time of the left, together with Greek people behind the scenes is near."

It should be noted that members of the State Council declared unconstitutional the measure of pre- retirement mobility of employees from the real public sector who have been employed under an employment contract of public legislation. According to the State Council, the so called labour reserve is contrary to Article 103 of the Constitution as well as to the constitutional principle of equality of citizens, and one of the judges declared that it was also contrary to the constitutional principle of meritocracy.

Independent Greeks: Mitsotakis wants to buy time in order to regroup his forces

MP of the Independent Greeks party Marina Hrisoveloni criticised the Minister of Administrative Reform Kyriakos Mitsotakis:

"Mitsotakis is addressing the mobility programme in the public sector with military methods and techniques. His meeting with the Troika clearly confirmed the following: he wants to buy time in order to regroup his forces and attack thousands of state employees again and even more violently."

Tags: negotiations supervisory Troika the Ministry of Finance Budget 2014
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