The first month of 2017 in Greece has been hard and extremely cold. Check Greece by a glance and all the Greek News on our Fully Updated Home Page
This is Greek to me !
The first month of 2017 in Greece has been hard and extremely cold. Check Greece by a glance and all the Greek News on our Fully Updated Home Page
This is Greek to me !
Go to Full Greek2m Newsblog Article at greek2m.org
“For six months we fought an uneven war, We suffered losses but we gained ground too, Now a minefield lies ahead of us.”
Tsipras had said speaking Friday night before the Parliamenary vote. He said the government had a “mandate from the Greek people to bring a better agreement, “but we do not have a mandate to take the country out of the eurozone” he underlined
“It is a choice of high national responsibility, we have a national duty to keep our people alive … We will succeed, not only to stay in Europe but to live as equal peers with dignity and pride,” Tsipras said.
“For the first time, we have on the table a substantial discussion for a debt restructuring,” Alexis Tsipras emphasized on his speech, insisting that with the latest proposals he had won important concessions from the creditors, and the new deal was better than the one rejected by the Greek people with the YES or NO referendum last week.
Meanwhile an EU source told AFP that Greece’s international creditors reviewed the Athens’ proposals and considered it a good basis for a new bailout.
There has been no other government in modern history that, while on the edge of a default, on the most dramatic way, has kept negotiating to the very end with Persistance and Pride
Yes we have made mistakes, AlexTsipras said.
No one is unmistakable, and first of all, me
Bu we managed to light the flame of Solidaity in Europe for the very first time
Now we have to keep alive our folk to keep fighting for its right
Im sure that the passion of this folk for Life and Dignity
will make it
and that it will open new roads for the countries of Europe
But the Greek Prime Minister is left now with an interior bleeding gap in the government, after loosing 15 YES votes of his own coalition lawmakers Even Mr. Tsipras’s party, Syriza, which drafted the proposals with help from French experts, seemed confused, noted the NYT aricle on Friday. The culture minister, Nikos Xydakis, had described on Friday the proposed measures as “very tough.”
“No, it’s not a better deal. It’s a tough deal and the only one we can get right now.”
Minister Nikos Xydakis, though, voted YES in Parliament on Friday night, but did not do the same all of Alexis Tsipas governments’ ministers. Minister of Developement Panayiotis Lafazanis , and Minister of Labour Stratoulis voted PRESENT ( which counts as not a yes). Rumors said after that, hours later on Saturday morning, that Tsipras asked them to resign.
Before and beyond all these abstract, and shocking to a whole, awake till 4 in the morning Greek public, Yiannis Varoufakis counted as ABSENT vote for his own (disastrous)t, negotiation plan, that he had started and ended up, on the very last minute in the hands of his “friend and long term comrade Eukleid Tsakalotos’ as Yianis himself had said for the present Greek Finance Minister, because Yianis on this very moment for Greece, decided to …travel to Aigina for family reasons.
” If I would be there I would vote Yes” he said on a a writen letter he sent to the Parliament. But he wasn’t, so his name counted as absent.
Two other top ministers, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Houdis, and deputy minister of Defence Kostas Isihos stated that they voted Yes, as not to cause more danger to the governmenet, but they openly defined that their thesis is No.
So what is all that confusion about, that made even the governmenet itself to burn out, leaving again Greek people in a desperate mind blow? And also, leaving also stigmatized the Greek Left,as showing no unity, and the whole world to stare breathless to Greece, again?
Greece Isn’t to Blame for the Crisis, wrote the Foreign Affairs article few days before, explaning Why :
We’ve never understood Greece because we have refused to see the crisis for what it was—a continuation of a series of bailouts for the financial sector that started in 2008 and that rumbles on today. It’s so much easier to blame the Greeks and then be surprised when they refuse to play along with the script.
There is a big truth, told openly to the world the Foreign Affairs article….and it is what the European elites buried deep within their supposed bailouts for Greece. Namely, the bailouts weren’t for Greece at all, explained the article. They were bailouts-on-the-quiet for Europe’s big banks, and taxpayers in core countries are now being stuck with the bill since the Greeks have refused to pay.
It is this hidden game that lies at the heart of Greece’s decision to say “no” and Europe’s inability to solve the problem, the article underlines.
it wrote. The roots of the crisis lie far away from Greece; they lie in the architecture of European banking.
When the euro came into existence in 1999,not only did the Greeks get to borrow like the Germans, everyone’s banks got to borrow and lend in what was effectively a cheap foreign currency. And with super-low rates, countries clamoring to get into the euro, and a continent-wide credit boom underway, it made sense for national banks to expand private lending as far as the euro could reach, explained the Foreign Affairs article in the start of the week
To fix the problem, someone in core Europe is going to have to own up to all of the above and admit that their money wasn’t given to lazy Greeks but to already-bailed bankers who, despite a face-value haircut, ended up making a profit on the deal.
Doing so would, however, also entail admitting that by shifting, quite deliberately, responsibility from reckless lenders to irresponsible (national) borrowers,
Europe regenerated exactly the type of petty nationalism, in which moral Germans face off against corrupt Greeks, that the EU was designed to eliminate
Despite Germany being a serial defaulter that received debt relief four times in the twentieth century, Chancellor Angela Merkel is not about to cop to bailing out D-Bank and pinning it on the Greeks.
At the time of writing,
the ECB is not only violating its own statutes by limiting emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks,
but is also raising the haircuts on Greek collateral offered for new cash. In other words, the ECB, far from being an independent central bank, is acting as the eurogroup’s enforcer, despite the risk that doing so poses to the European project as a whole.
Paul Krugman of the New York Times likened the Troika’s demands to medieval doctors when he wrote,
the truth is that Europe’s self-styled technocrats are like medieval doctors who insisted on bleeding their patients. And when their bleeding treatment made the patients sicker, demanded even more bleeding.
Against all advice of many important economists, Europe and the Troika insist on drip-feeding Greece. Against this, a group of economists including Thomas Piketty and an experts to the RealNews Network on the Euro crisis, Heiner Flassbeck, has penned an open letter to Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, published in the Nation magazine.
It makes a plea for debt forgiveness. They wrote:
We cannot demand that generations must pay for decades of the mistakes of their parents.
The Greeks have, without a doubt, made big mistakes. Until 2009 the government in Athens forged its books.
But despite this, the younger generation of Greeks carries no more responsibility for the mistakes of its elders than the younger generations of Germans did in the 1950s and ’60s. We need to look ahead.
Europe was founded on debt forgiveness and investment in the future, not on the idea of endless penance. We need to remember this, they wrote.
It was on this point that Alexis Tsipras had emphasized speaking in the Europarliament the previous week, just after the referendum, and addressing to all the euroleaders, noting that the Foundation of Europe in the modern history was build on this, exactly, brave practise of solidarity and forgiveness, shown by the countries that were ruined by Germany, but though, Greece at least, “donated” to Germany the 60% of its dept.
Confusion and political paralyisis in Greece, bottom line, no matter how much in cold blood, the leftists lawmakers ended up to almost “tombled” their, first in history Left government that has ever existed in Greece, popps out from the main core of the cause, finally, that makes to a majority of Greek people, (with the majority of Greek lives been humiliated), even a Grexit to seem more promising, than obeying to this Germany- ruled Europe, which, ironically, is called a Union: the total absence of Empathy, Humanitarianism and Solidarity, in Principles and Pracise
Τhe Greek Proposal to the Eurozone (full text in English).
The Greek proposal to the Eurozone (full text) includes what the Greek government is proposing in reforms and cuts. A condensed version of the proposal in Greek is here.
1. 2015 supplementary budget and 2016-19 MTFS1
Adopt effective as of July 1, 2015 a supplementary 2015 budget and a 2016–19 medium-term fiscal strategy, supported by a sizable and credible package of measures. The new fiscal path is premised on a primary surplus target of (1, 2, 3), and 3.5 percent of GDP in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The package includes VAT reforms (¶2), other tax policy measures (¶3), pension reforms (¶4), public administration reforms (¶5), reforms addressing shortfalls in tax collection enforcement (¶6), and other parametric measures as specified below.
2. VAT reform
Adopt legislation to reform the VAT system that will be effective as of July 1, 2015. The reform will target a net revenue gain of 1 percent of GDP on an annual basis from parametric changes. The new VAT system will: (i) unify the rates at a standard 23 percent rate, which will include restaurants and catering, and a reduced 13 percent rate for basic food, energy, hotels, and water (excluding sewage), and a super-reduced rate of 6 percent for pharmaceuticals, books, and theater; (ii) streamline exemptions to broaden the base and raise the tax on insurance; and (iii) Eliminate discounts on islands, starting with the islands with higher incomes and which are the most popular tourist destinations, except the most remote ones. This will be completed by end-2016, as appropriate and targeted fiscally neutral measures to compensate those inhabitants that are most in need are determined. The new VAT rates on hotels and islands will be implemented from October 2015.
The increase of the VAT rate described above may be reviewed at the end of 2016, provided that equivalent additional revenues are collected through measures taken against tax evasion and to improve collectability of VAT. Any decision to review and revise shall take place in consultation with the institutions.
3. Fiscal structural measures
Adopt legislation to:
·close possibilities for income tax avoidance (e.g., tighten the definition of farmers), take measures to increase the corporate income tax in 2015 and require 100 percent advance payments for corporate income and gradually for individual business income tax by 2017; phase out the preferential tax treatment of farmers in the income tax code by 2017; raise the solidarity surcharge;
·abolish subsidies for excise on diesel oil for farmers and better target eligibility to halve heating oil subsidies expenditure in the budget 2016;
·in view of any revision of the zonal property values, adjust the property tax rates if necessary to safeguard the 2015 and 2016 property tax revenues at €2.65 billion and adjust the alternative minimum personal income taxation.
·eliminate the cross-border withholding tax introduced by the installments act (law XXXX/2015) and reverse the recent amendments to the ITC in the public administration act (law XXXX/2015), including the special treatment of agricultural income.
·adopt outstanding reforms on the codes on income tax, and tax procedures: introduce a new Criminal Law on Tax Evasion and Fraud to amend the Special Penal Law 2523/1997 and any other relevant legislation, and replace Article 55, ¶s 1 and 2, of the TPC, with a view, inter alia, to modernize and broaden the definition of tax fraud and evasion to all taxes; abolish all Code of Book and Records fines, including those levied under law 2523/1997 develop the tax framework for collective investment vehicles and their participants consistently with the ITC and in line with best practices in the EU.
·adopt legislation to upgrade the organic budget law to: (i) introduce a framework for independent agencies; (ii) phase out ex-ante audits of the Hellenic Court of Auditors and account officers (ypologos); (iii) give GDFSs exclusive financial service capacity and GAO powers to oversee public sector finances; and (iv) phase out fiscal audit offices by January 2017.
·increase the rate of the tonnage tax and phase out special tax treatments of the shipping industry.
By September 2015, (i) simplify the personal income tax credit schedule; (ii) re-design and integrate into the ITC the solidarity surcharge for income of 2016 to more effectively achieve progressivity in the income tax system; (iii) issue a circular on fines to ensure the comprehensive and consistent application of the TPC; (iv) and other remaining reforms as specified in ¶9 of the IMF Country Report No. 14/151.
On health care, effective as of July 1, 2015, (i) re-establish full INN prescription, without exceptions, (ii) reduce as a first step the price of all off-patent drugs to 50 percent and all generics to 32.5 percent of the patent price, by repealing the grandfathering clause for medicines already in the market in 2012, and (iii)) review and limit the prices of diagnostic tests to bring structural spending in line with claw back targets; and (iv) collect in the full the 2014 clawback for private clinics, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, and extend their 2015 clawback ceilings to 2016.
Launch the Social Welfare Review under the agreed terms of reference with the technical assistance of the World Bank to target savings of ½ percent of GDP which can help finance a fiscally neutral gradual roll-out of the GMI in January 2016.
Adopt legislation to:
·reduce the expenditure ceiling for military spending by €100 million in 2015 and by €200 million in 2016 with a targeted set of actions, including a reduction in headcount and procurement;
·introduce reform of the income tax code, [inter alia covering capital taxation], investment vehicles, farmers and the self- employed, etc.;
·raise the corporate tax rate from 26% to 28%;
·introduce tax on television advertisements;
·announce international public tender for the acquisition of television licenses and usage related fees of relevant frequencies; and
·extend implementation of luxury tax on recreational vessels in excess of 5 meters and increase the rate from 10% to 13%, coming into effect from the collection of 2014 income taxes and beyond;
·extend Gross Gaming Revenues (GGR) taxation of 30% on VLT games expected to be installed at second half of 2015 and 2016;
·generate revenues through the issuance of 4G and 5G licenses.
We will consider some compensating measures, in case of fiscal shortfalls: (i) Increase the tax rate to income for rents, for annual incomes below €12,000 to 15% (from 11%) with an additional revenue of €160 million and for annual incomes above €12,000 to 35% (from 33%) with an additional revenue of €40 million; (ii) the corporate income tax will increase by an additional percentage point (i.e. from 28% to 29%) that will result in additional revenues of €130 million.
4. Pension reform
The Authorities recognise that the pension system is unsustainable and needs fundamental reforms. This is why they will implement in full the 2010 pension reform law (3863/2010), and implement in full or replace/adjust the sustainability factors for supplementary and lump-sum pensions from the 2012 reform as a part of the new pension reform in October 2015 to achieve equivalent savings and take further steps to improve the pension system.
Effective from July 1, 2015 the authorities will phase-in reforms that would deliver estimated permanent savings of ¼-½ percent of GDP in 2015 and 1 percent of GDP on a full year basis in 2016 and thereafter by adopting legislation to:
·create strong disincentives to early retirement, including the adjustment of early retirement penalties, and through a gradual elimination of grandfathering to statutory retirement age and early retirement pathways progressively adapting to the limit of statutory retirement age of 67 years, or 62 and 40 years of contributions by 2022, applicable for all those retiring (except arduous professions, and mothers with children with disability) with immediate application;
·adopt legislation so that withdrawals from the Social Insurance Fund will incur an annual penalty, for those affected by the extension of the retirement age period, equivalent to 10 percent on top of the current penalty of 6 percent;
·integrate into ETEA all supplementary pension funds and ensure that, starting January 1, 2015, all supplementary pension funds are only financed by own contributions;
·better target social pensions by increasing OGA uninsured pension;
·Gradually phase out the solidarity grant (EKAS) for all pensioners by end-December 2019. This shall be legislated immediately and shall start as regards the top 20% of beneficiaries in March 2016 with the modalities of the phase out to be agreed with the institutions;
·freeze monthly guaranteed contributory pension limits in nominal terms until 2021;
·provide to people retiring after 30 June 2015 the basic, guaranteed contributory, and means tested pensions only at the attainment of the statutory normal retirement age of currently 67 years;
·increase the health contributions for pensioners from 4% to 6% on average and extend it to supplementary pensions;
·phase out all state-financed exemptions and harmonize contribution rules for all pension funds with the structure of contributions to IKA from 1 July 2015;
Moreover, in order to restore the sustainability of the pension system, the authorities will by 31 October 2015, legislate further reforms to take effect from 1 January 2016; (i) specific design and parametric improvements to establish a closer link between contributions and benefits; (ii) broaden and modernize the contribution and pension base for all self-employed, including by switching from notional to actual income, subject to minimum required contribution rules; (iii) revise and rationalize all different systems of basic, guaranteed contributory and means tested pension components, taking into account incentives to work and contribute; (iv) the main elements of a comprehensive SSFs consolidation, including any remaining harmonization of contribution and benefit payment rules and procedures across all funds; (v) abolish all nuisance charges financing pensions and offset by reducing benefits or increasing contributions in specific funds to take effect from 31 October 2015; and (vi) harmonize pension benefit rules of the agricultural fund (OGA) with the rest of the pension system in a pro rata manner, unless OGA is merged into other funds.
The consolidation of social insurance funds will take place by end 2017. In 2015, the process will be activated through legislation to consolidate the social insurance funds under a single entity and the operational consolidation will have been completed by 31 December 2016. Further reductions in the operating costs and a more effective management of fund resources including improved balancing of needs between better-off and poorer-off funds will be actively encouraged.
The authorities will adopt legislation to fully offset the fiscal effects of the implementation of court rulings on the 2012 pension reform.
In parallel to the reform of the pension system, a Social Welfare Review will be carried out to ensure fairness of the various reforms.
The institutions are prepared to take into account other parametric measures within the pension system of equivalent effect to replace some of the measures mentioned above, taking into account their impact on growth, and provided that such measures are presented to the institutions during the design phase and are sufficiently concrete and quantifiable, and in the absence of this the default option is what is specified above.
5. Public Administration, Justice and Anti Corruption
Adopt legislation to:
·reform the unified wage grid, effective 1 January, 2016, setting the key parameters in a fiscally neutral manner and consistent with the agreed wage bill targets and with comprehensive application across the public sector, including decompressing the wage distribution across the wage spectrumin connection with the skill, performance and responsibility of staff. (The authorities will also adopt legislation to rationalise the specialised wage grids, by end-November 2015);
·align non-wage benefits such as leave arrangements, per diems, travel allowances and perks, with best practices in the EU, effective 1 January 2016;
·establish within the new MTFS ceilings for the wage bill and the level of public employment consistent with achieving the fiscal targets and ensuring a declining path of the wage bill relative to GDP until 2019;
·hire managers and assess performance of all employees (with the aim to complete the hiring of new managers by 31 December 2015 subsequent to a review process)
·introduce a new permanent mobility scheme applied by Q4 2015. The scheme will promote the use of job description and will be linked with an online database that will include all current vacancies. Final decision on employee mobility will be taken by each service concerned. This will rationalize the allocation of resources as well as the staffing across the General Government.
·reform the Civil Procedure Code, in line with previous agreements; introduce measures to reduce the backlog of cases in administrative courts; work closely with European institutions and technical assistance on e-justice, mediation and judicial statistics
·strengthen the governance of ELSTAT. It shall cover (i) the role and structure of the Advisory bodies of the Hellenic Statistical System, including the recasting of the Council of ELSS to an advisory Committee of the ELSS, and the role of the Good Practice Advisory Committee (GPAC); (ii) the recruitment procedure for the President of ELSTAT, to ensure that a President of the highest professional calibre is recruited, following transparent procedures and selection criteria; (iii) the involvement of ELSTAT as appropriate in any legislative or other legal proposal pertaining to any statistical matter; (iv) other issues that impact the independence of ELSTAT, including financial autonomy, the empowerment of ELSTAT to reallocate existing permanent posts and to hire staff where it is needed and to hire specialised scientific personnel, and the classification of the institution as a fiscal policy body in the recent law 4270/2014; role and powers of Bank of Greece in statistics in line with European legislation.
·Publish a revised Strategic Plan against Corruption by 31 July 2015. Amend and implement the legal framework for the declaration of assets and financing of the political parties and adopt legislation insulating financial crime and anti-corruption investigations from political intervention in individual cases.
Moreover, in collaboration with the OECD, the Authorities will:
·Strengthen controls in public entities and especially SOEs. Empower the Line Ministries to perform robust audit and control inspections to supervised entities including SOEs.
·Strengthen controls and internal audit processes in high spending Local Government Institutions and their supervised legal entities.
·Strengthen controls in public and private investment cases funded either by national or co-funded by other sources, public works and public procurement (e.g. in health sector, SDIT).
·Strengthen transparency and control processes and skills in tax and customs authorities.
·Assess major risks in the public procurement cycle, taking in consideration the recent developments (Central Purchasing and e-Procurement: KHMDHS and ESHDHS) and the need to have a clear governance framework. Develop strategy according to the assessment(Q4 2015)
·Implement strategy to mitigate public procurement risks.(Q1 2016)
·Assess 2 specific sectors, Health and Public Works in order to understand the existing constrains related to corruption and waste risks and propose measures to address them. Develop and implement strategy. (Q4 2015)
6. Tax administration
Take the following actions to:
·Adopt legislation to establish an autonomous revenue agency, that specifies: (i) the agency’s legal form, organization, status, and scope; (ii) the powers and functions of the CEO and the independent Board of Governors; (iii) the relationship to the Minister of Finance and other government entities; (iv) the agency’s human resource flexibility and relationship to the civil service; (v) budget autonomy, with own GDFS and a new funding formula to align incentives with revenue collection and guarantee budget predictability and flexibility; (vi) reporting to the government and parliament; and (vii) the immediate transfer of all tax- and customs-related capacities and duties and all tax- and customs-related staff in SDOE and other entities to the agency.
·on garnishments, adopt legislation to eliminate the 25 percent ceiling on wages and pensions and lower all thresholds of €1,500 while ensuring in all cases reasonable living conditions; accelerate procurement of IT infrastructure to automatize e-garnishment; improve tax debt write-off rules; remove tax officers’ personal liabilities for not pursuing old debt; remove restrictions on conducting audits of tax returns from 2012 subject to the external tax certificate scheme; and enforce if legally possible upfront payment collection in tax disputes.
·amend (i) the 2014–15 tax and SSC debt installment schemes to exclude those who fail to pay current obligations and introduce a requirement for the tax and social security administrations to shorten the duration for those with the capacity to pay earlier and introduce market-based interest rates; the LDU and KEAO will assess by September 2015 the large debtors with tax and SSC debt exceeding €1 million (e.g. verify their capacity to pay and take corrective action) and (ii) the basic installment scheme/TPC to adjust the market-based interest rates and suspend until end-2017 third-party verification and bank guarantee requirements.
·adopt legislation to accelerate de-registration procedures and limit VAT re-registration to protect VAT revenues and accelerate procurement of network analysis software; and provide the Presidential Decree needed for the significantly strengthening the reorganisation of the VAT enforcement section in order to strengthen VAT enforcement and combat VAT carousel fraud. The authorities will submit an application to the EU VAT Committee and prepare an assessment of the implication of an increase in the VAT threshold to €25.000.
·combat fuel smuggling, via legislative measures for locating storage tanks (fixed or mobile);
·Produce a comprehensive plan with technical assistance for combating tax evasion which includes (i) identification of undeclared deposits by checking bank transactions in banking institutions in Greece or abroad, (ii) introduction of a voluntary disclosure program with appropriate sanctions, incentives and verification procedures, consistent with international best practice, and without any amnesty provisions (iii) request from EU member states to provide data on asset ownership and acquisition by Greek citizens, (iv) renew the request for technical assistance in tax administration and make full use of the resource in capacity building, (v) establish a wealth registry to improve monitoring.
·develop a costed plan for the promotion of the use of electronic payments, making use of the EU Structural and Investment Fund;
·Create a time series database to monitor the balance sheets of parent-subsisdiary companies to improve risk analysis criteria for transfer pricing
7. Financial sector
(i) amendments to the corporate and household insolvency laws including to cover all debtors and bring the corporate insolvency law in line with the OCW law;
(ii) amendments to the household insolvency law to introduce a mechanism to separate strategic defaulters from good faith debtors as well as simplify and strengthen the procedures and introduce measures to address the large backlog of cases;
(iii) amendments to improve immediately the judicial framework for corporate and household insolvency matters;
(iv) legislation to establish a regulated profession of insolvency administrators, not restricted to any specific profession and in line with good cross-country experience;
(v) a comprehensive strategy for the financial system: this strategy will build on the strategy document from 2013, taking into account the new environment and conditions of the financial system and with a view of returning the banks in private ownership by attracting international strategic investors and to achieve a sustainable funding model over the medium term; and
(vi) a holistic NPL resolution strategy, prepared with the help of a strategic consultant.
8. Labour market
Launch a consultation process to review the whole range of existing labour market arrangements, taking into account best practices elsewhere in Europe. Further input to the consultation process described above will be provided by international organisations, including the ILO. The organization and timelines shall be drawn up in consultation with the institutions. In this context, legislation on a new system of collective bargaining should be ready by Q4 2015. The authorities will take actions to fight undeclared work in order to strengthen the competitiveness of legal companies and protect workers as well as tax and social security revenues.
9. Product market
Adopt legislation to:
·implement all pending recommendations of the OECD competition toolkit I, except OTC pharmaceutical products, starting with: tourist buses, truck licenses, code of conduct for traditional foodstuff, eurocodes on building materials, and all the OECD toolkit II recommendations on beverages and petroleum products;
·In order to foster competition and increase consumer welfare immediately launch a new competition assessment, in collaboration and with the technical support of the OECD, on wholesale trade, construction, e-commerce and media. The assessment will be concluded by Q1 2016.The recommendations will be adopted by Q2 2016.
·open the restricted professions of engineers, notaries, actuaries, and bailiffs and liberalize the market for tourist rentals ;
·eliminate non-reciprocal nuisance charges and align the reciprocal nuisance charges to the services provided;
·reduce red tape, including on horizontal licensing requirements of investments and on low-risk activities as recommended by the World Bank, and administrative burden of companies based on the OECD recommendations, and (ii) establish a committee for the inter-ministerial preparation of legislation. Technical assistance of the World Bank will be sought to implement the easing of licensing requirements.
·design electronic one-stop shops for businesses through analysing information obligations businesses have to comply with, structuring them accordingly and helping to design a project on developing the necessary ICT tools and infrastructure (Q3 2015). Setting up the institutional & co-ordination structure, identification of the business life events to be included, identification and mapping of information obligations & administrative procedures and training of officials (Q4 2015). Launch (Q1 2016)
·adopt the reform of the gas market and its specific roadmap, and implementation should follow suit.
·take irreversible steps (including announcement of date for submission of binding offers) to privatize the electricity transmission company, ADMIE, or provide by October 2015 an alternative scheme, with equivalent results in terms of competition, in line with the best European practices to provide full ownership unbundling from PPC, while ensuring independence.
On electricity markets, the authorities will reform the capacity payments system and other electricity market rules to avoid that some plants are forced to operate below their variable cost, and to prevent the netting of the arrears between PPC and market operator; set PPC tariffs based on costs, including replacement of the 20% discount for HV users with cost based tariffs; and notify NOME products to the European Commission. The authorities will also continue the implementation of the roadmap to the EU target model prepare a new framework for the support of renewable energies and for the implementation of energy efficiency and review energy taxation; the authorities will strengthen the electricity regulator’s financial and operational independence;
·The Board of Directors of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund will approve its Asset Development Plan which will include for privatisation all the assets under HRDAF as of 31/12/2014; and the Cabinet will endorse the plan.
·To facilitate the completion of the tenders, the authorities will complete all government pending actions including those needed for the regional airports, TRAINOSE, Egnatia, the ports of Pireaus and Thessaloniki and Hellinikon (precise list in Technical Memorandum). This list of actions is updated regularly and the Government will ensure that all pending actions are timely implemented.
·The government and HRADF will announce binding bid dates for Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports of no later than end-October 2015, and for TRAINOSE ROSCO, with no material changes in the terms of the tenders.
·The government will transfer the state’s shares in OTE to the HRADF.
·Take irreversible steps for the sale of the regional airports at the current terms with the winning bidder already selected.
After the smashing NO of the Greek referendum, Greece’s people have much more than before an established belief that the country’s euro-“partners” have no intention of helping this Greece. Or, at least, this Greece by this (leftist) governmenet , which the eurolenders definitely dislike.
“There is no base of new negotiations, and solidarity is needed from both sides” Angela Merkel said today, on the greferendum-after euro-summit
But is this a joke?
It is almost half a year now, that the hope for which Alexis Tsipras was elected on January, has been unstopably canceled by the European creditors’ side, multiple times a day, every single day, since Alexis was elected . Today, it is true, Greeks have been left with no traces of hope for a more altruistic, humanitarian, or at least, fair stance form the European side.
And it is almost proved , that there hasn’t been any such intention from Euro creditors ever.
Here is how this was unveiled recently
It was just two days before the referendum in Greece , while the Greek’s agony, mass mind torture and mass despair, were rising on the peak, by closed banks frightening as never before the daily life in every single Greek household, and while the armed missinformation propaganda was chocking any thought of democratic freedom , when NYT decided to publish the true story, word-by-word, that led Greece to its worst No-way-out.
It was exactly just on time, two days before the referendum, that the Greek heart had started to overcome the foggy laid set up of misleading information , the scary blackmailing quotes of European aders and Greek exleaders claiming that a no would be a Grexit d nothing else, and also, it was the moment that Greeks, and especially the veterans Greeks had found the courage to stand on the line for 50 euros daily, -the most lucky of them-, or 120 weekly the pensioners-, but not minding at all for these moments, since the brave Greek heart had awakened Greek mind and had let them see beyond that presend foggy shade. Greeks looking straight to the clear blue sky and Greece’s horizon decided to say a brave NO to the world.
None could deny, of course, that the shock of the banks’ closure , which was scheduled to last throughout the pre-referendum week , and after, was not of the best sufficient tools to scare the Greek public on real terms, picturing a humble tomorrow, for all the Greek families in case they would vote for the NO, as the Euro creditors would see it, while they were keeping reassuring that this was it: You vote NO, that’s what your life is going to be, and worst….
But the NYT article, on July 3, surprisingly revealed on its article 48hs before the 5th of July referendum, that this was what W.Schaublhad suggested on the last nightmarish- for Greece eurogroup, when also, the “Take it or reave it” ultimatum was said straightly to Yianis Varoufakis, shamelesssly, in forn of all the Euro finance ministers in a supposted to be United Europe financila summit.
..Yanis, if you keep talking about the debt, a deal will be impossible, Mr. Dijsselbloem said, according to people who were briefed on the exchange between the two men.
Mr. Schäuble began criticizing Mr. Moscovici, the senior European Commission official, over his positive comments regarding the Greek offer.
Even the latest proposal from the creditors was too lenient toward the Greeks, Mr. Schäuble argued, saying that he saw little chance that he could get it past the German Bundestag, the national parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The only solution here is capital controls, he said, his voice rising.
But Mr. Varoufakis persisted on the issue of Greece’s staggering debt load, ignoring the admonitions of Mr. Dijsselbloem and others.
Then Mr. Varoufakis turned on Christine Lagarde, the French director of the I.M.F.
Five years ago, the fund had given its blessing to the first bailout, doling out loans alongside Europe despite internal misgivings that Greece would be in no position to repay them.
Now the I.M.F. was pushing Greece to sign up to yet another austerity program to access more loans even though the fund had now concluded that their initial misgivings were correct: Greece’s debt was unsustainable.
I have a question for Christine, Mr. Varoufakis said to the packed hall: Can the I.M.F. formally state in this meeting that this proposal we are being asked to sign will make the Greek debt sustainable?
Yanis has a point, Ms. Lagarde responded — the question of the debt needs to be addressed. (A spokesman for the fund later said that this was not an accurate description of the exchange.)
But before she could explain, she was interrupted by Mr. Dijsselbloem.
It’s a take it or leave it offer, Yanis, the Dutch official said, peering at him through rimless spectacles.
In the end, Greece would leave it.
And not only.
Greek bravery would win , though Yianis would have become, 10 days later, a “Minister No More”.
But it was not only this part of the harsh european manner towards Greece, of these latest words to Yianis Varoufis that set fire on the Greece- and- its -creditros relationships that led to the referendum. 0n the same article of the NYT , the whole proceedure, and intention, of a non agreement is unveiled
…That Monday, June 22, Greece’s technical team in Brussels submitted an eight-page proposal to their counterparts. The paper was an effort to bridge a six-month divide on how Greece planned to sort out its future finances.
For political reasons, the Tsipras government had said it would not cut pensions or do away with tax breaks that favored businesses serving tourists on the Greek islands. Instead, the new Greek plan envisaged a series of tax increases and increases in pension contributions to be borne by corporations.
The initial response seemed positive. Both Pierre Moscovici, a senior finance official at the European Commission who is known to be sympathetic toward Greece, and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of Europe’s working group of finance ministers who is one of Greece’s harshest critics, said on Tuesday that the plan was promising.
The Greek team was elated. For the first time, the Greek numbers were adding up.
The next morning, though, that optimism evaporated.
Greece’s creditors — the I.M.F., the other eurozone nations and the European Central Bank — sent the Greek paper back and marked it in red where there were disagreements.
The criticisms were everywhere: too many tax increases, unifying value-added taxes, not enough spending cuts and more cuts needed on pension reforms.
The Greek team couldn’t believe it. The creditors had seemed to dial everything back to where the talks were six months ago….
The specific NYT’s article, indeed, reading it back again, -from today’s point of reality, where Europeans find Again Greece’s negotiation role as inadequate-, is sheding light to thuth behind the Eurogroup closed doors, which Europeans, probably, never wanted to be unveiled.
Apart from that, it was also around those days of 3-5 of July that IMF decided to publishize officialy its report that had assesed the Greek dept as non susstainable, early enouph, and of which the Euroleaders had been fully aware. A publication of which, the Reuters had wrote that
the report could distract attention from a view they share with the IMF that the Tsipras government, in the five months since it was elected, has wrecked a fragile economy that was just starting to recover.
It was the dept reduction, restructure or reform, that had made Yianis Varoufas sying, while he was Finance minister that he would better cut his hand than sign an agreement without debt reform.
Finally , Yianis sacrifised himself on the altar of a deal for Greece, but debt reform still remains as priority on the table .
This is Yianis Varoufakis’ resignation statement as he released it on Monday July 6.
The referendum of 5 July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt bondage.
Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25 June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid no vote be invested immediately into a yes to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.
Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted “partners”, for my … “absence” from its meetings; an idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the ministry of finance today.
I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.
And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.
We of the left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office.
I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new minister of finance, and our government.
The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous oxi (no) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning.
Our courageous No to a Non-solidarity Europe. #Proud2beGreek , Visit our #Greferendum updated Home Page. This is Greek to me ! Stay with us, 24/7
On his last statement for the Sunday Referendum, on Friday 03/07, Alexis Tsipras emphasized on the IMF’s report for Greece’s dept, that was finally revealed by the Internationay Monetary Fund officialy, after it was leaked when it had been provided to the German MP’s by the German Parliament
“Yesterday an event of major political importance happened,” Tsipras said. “The IMF published a report on Greece’s economy which is…”
…” great vindication for the Greek government as it confirms the obvious – that Greek debt is not sustainable.”
The fund published a draft of its latest analysis of Greece’s public debt yesterday, detailing a litany of factors that “render the debt dynamics unsustainable.” That’s a bureaucratic way of saying that there’s no chance that the country’s lenders will ever be repaid in full, commented the Quarz on Thursay, under the title Cant Pay, won’t pay
The International Monetary Fund conceded a point on Thursday that the Athens government has long been making, the NYT on Friday, 02/07 wrote :
Without some reduction in the country’s staggering debt load, Greece has little hope of a sustained economic recovery.
The report is likely to stoke tensions with Greece’s European creditors at a critical moment, just ahead of a Greek national referendum on Sunday over whether to accept a bailout package that Mr. Tsipras has opposed — in part because it does not contain debt relief. By essentially concluding that any new bailout deal for Greece must include debt relief, the I.M.F., whether intentionally or not, turned up the pressure on Europe to acknowledge that point, the NYT wrote on July 3. lose
“They have Closed our banks as to blackmail the Greeks for a Yes to a deal without dept restructuring, while dept is definitely not sustainable”
This is was what the “Take it or Leave it” Ultimatum for Greece was about, handled by President Tusk, said Yiannis Varoufakis,talking on the State Televion News, on July 1, hours after a leak of an IMF document to a German newspaper that was proving, indeed, that Greece’s dept was admitted not to be sustainable
A senior I.M.F. official said the organization released the report Thursday because elements of it were leaking out.. This was what the leaked document was saying
Even if Greece accepted all of the austerity measures demanded by its main creditors, the Troika, it still would not be able to make ends meet by 2030,
according to IMF estimates revealed in a set of documents obtained by a German newspaper.
The most optimistic scenario shows that Greece would face an unsustainable debt in 2030 even if it agreed to the package of tax increases and spending cuts proposed by the European commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF in exchange for a five-month €15.5bn loan from its creditors.
These prospects were outlined in six documents that were part of the “final” proposal offered to Greece by the three main creditors on Friday. The papers were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and seen by The Guardian.
The estimates provide support for Greece’s decision not to accept the bailout deal. They prove that for Greece to survive economically, it needs real debt relief measures, not austerity reforms.
According to the IMF, Greece would be unable to sustain a debt level of 118% of GDP. In 2012, the organization said that 110% of GDP is the highest debt threshold the country could take on.
Currently the country’s debt level amounts to 175% of GDP, and that percentage could easily rise if the country were to slip into recession.
The documents stressed that
even if Greece posted stellar economic growth for 15 years, the debt level would still be higher than 110% of GDP,
adding that Greece had no chance of meeting that target.
Even if the economy managed to maintain a growth rate of 4% a year for the next five years, the national debt level would only decline to 124%.
“It is clear that the policy slippages and uncertainties of the last months have made the achievement of the 2012 targets impossible under any scenario,”
one of six secret documents, titled the Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis for Greece, stated.
There are also mentions of much needed “significant concessions,” but no specifics are revealed.
The files were reportedly sent to all German MPs for review and approval, but were never voted on since Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected the proposal and called for a referendum.
Other documents reveal further details about the proposed deal.
For example, there is a description of how Greece would eventually gain access to €15 billion. The plan was to consist of five separate tranches beginning as soon as June.
They were said to cover Greece’s immediate financing needs, with 93% of the money going towards paying the cost of maturing debt.
Other details were about reforms Greece should be forced to implement if it were to accept the proposal.
The debate over pension reforms was particularly heated. The documents show that the three creditors wanted substantial reform, including changes to early retirement penalties and the phasing out the solidarity grant (EKAS).
Late on Tuesday evening, Greece became the first developed country to default on its international obligations, after the IMF confirmed that it had failed to receive the €1.5 billion debt payment from Athens that was due by the end of June 30.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement that Greece had asked for a payment extension earlier on Tuesday and that the Fund’s board would consider it “in due course.”
This was largely expected by the markets. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had warned earlier that Greece would not be able to make its IMF debt payment on time.
…”In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.
It’s not about the money, said Columbia Business School’s resident Nobel laureate. It’s about forcing Greece to buckle under.”
It is hard to advise Greeks how to vote on 5 July. Neither alternative – approval or rejection of the troika’s terms – will be easy, and both carry huge risks. A yes vote would mean depression almost without end. Perhaps a depleted country – one that has sold off all of its assets, and whose bright young people have emigrated – might finally get debt forgiveness; perhaps, having shrivelled into a middle-income economy, Greece might finally be able to get assistance from the World Bank. All of this might happen in the next decade, or perhaps in the decade after that.
By contrast, a no vote would at least open the possibility that Greece, with its strong democratic tradition, might grasp its destiny in its own hands. Greeks might gain the opportunity to shape a future that, though perhaps not as prosperous as the past, is far more hopeful than the unconscionable torture of the present.
I know how I would vote.
It is disappointing that the IMF and the EU have failed to reach a solution that does not require additional retrogressive austerity measures
Any agreement that would require such a violation of human rights and customary international law is contra bonos mores and hence null and void pursuant to Art. 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
30 June 2015
GENEVA ( (Issued as received) –– Two United Nations human rights experts today welcomed the holding of a referendum in Greece to decide by democratic process the path to follow to solve the Greek economic crisis without deterioration in the human rights situation.
The UN Independent Experts on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, and on human rights and international solidarity, Virginia Dandan, stressed that there is much more at stake than debt repayment obligations, echoing a warning* issued earlier this month by the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky.
“All human rights institutions and mechanisms should welcome the Greek referendum as an eloquent expression of the self-determination of the Greek people in conformity with article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in pursuance of article 25 ICCPR on public participation. Indeed, a democratic and equitable international order requires participation by all concerned stakeholders in decision-making and respect for due process, which can best be achieved through international solidarity and a human rights approach to the solution of all problems, including financial crises.
It is disappointing that the IMF and the EU have failed to reach a solution that does not require additional retrogressive austerity measures. Some leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of holding a referendum in Greece. Why? Referenda are in the best traditions of democratic governance.
No one can expect the Prime Minister of Greece to renounce the commitments he made to the people who elected him with a clear mandate to negotiate a fair solution that does not dismantle Greek democracy and lead to further unemployment and social misery. Capitulating to an ultimatum imposing further austerity measures on the Greek population would be incompatible with the democratic trust placed on the Greek Prime Minister by the electorate.
By nature, every State has the responsibility to protect the welfare of all persons living under its jurisdiction. This encompasses fiscal and budgetary sovereignty and regulatory space which cannot be trumped by outside actors, whether States, inter-governmental organizations or creditors.
Article 103 of the UN Charter stipulates that the Charter provisions prevail over all other treaties, therefore no treaty or loan agreement can force a country to violate the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of its population, nor can a loan agreement negate the sovereignty of a State. Any agreement that would require such a violation of human rights and customary international law is contra bonos mores and hence null and void pursuant to Art. 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
A democratic and equitable international order requires a commercial and financial regime that facilitates the realization of all human rights. Inter-governmental organizations must foster and under no conditions hinder the achievement of the plenitude of human rights.
Foreign debt is no excuse to derogate from or violate human rights or to cause retrogression in contravention of articles 2 and 5 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
In 2013, the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights stated that the policy austerity measures adopted to secure additional financing from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank had pushed the Greek economy into recession and generally undermined the enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights.
This is the moment for the international community to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Greece, to respect their democratic will as expressed in a referendum, to proactively help them out of this financial crisis, which finds a major cause in the financial meltdown of 2007-08, for which Greece bears no responsibility.
Indeed, democracy means self-determination, and self-determination often calls for referenda – also in Greece.”
Europe’s helping hand to Greece for five years, wroteJoseph Stiglitz the same critical day, June 30,in Huffington Post has been far different from what one might have expected if there was even a bit of humanity, of European solidarity.
“There was sometimes an element of neo-colonialism: the old White Europeans once again telling their former colonies what to do. More often than not, the policies didn’t work as they were supposed to. There were huge discrepancies between what the Western experts expected and what actually happened.
Somehow, one expected something better of Greece’s Eurozone “partner.” But the demands were every bit as intrusive, and the policies and models were every bit as flawed. The disparity between what the Troika thought would happen and what has emerged has been striking — and not because Greece didn’t do what it was supposed to, but because it did, and the models were very, very flawed. ”
On Sunday’s Referrendum in Greece , conludes Nobelist Stiglitz, both choices could lead to even worse social disruptions, calling, though, the Yes, “austerity and depression without end”. But while with one of them there is some hope, he says, with the other there is not.
(*) Read the statement by the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights (2 June 2015) – “Greek crisis: Human rights should not stop at doors of international institutions, says UN expert”:
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