One change per week with the blessing of the Church
Finance minister Venizelos has started a race in order to realize the objectives of the updated memorandum. He will meet with Archbishop Ieronymos in the morning to ask for support in the country’s struggle to exit the crisis.
He will then leave for Berlin, where he will meet with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble. The “main course” of their dinner will include the memorandum’s rough measures, as well as the role of rating agencies and their block on the efforts to settle the Greek debt.
The baton is then passed to the German Finance minister who will meet with his new counterpart in France, Francois Bayrou, again to discuss Greece. Subsequently, the major bargain of governments and banks on the terms and alternatives whereby they will take part in the Greek debt’s rollover, will start in Paris.
One change per week
Returning to Athens, Venizelos and the government will start a race against time. The updated memorandum accompanying the 5th installment of 12bil euros necessitates tight timetables.
During the mini cabinet meeting Venizelos chaired on Tuesday, he asked all ministers to proceed with immediate measures in order to reach the aims of the memorandum.
Within the summer, 15 sectors must see new measures, including the restructuring of the taxation mechanism, control of state expenditure, changes in public administration, the consolidation of SOEs, the pension system, labour market, health, state contracts and the financial sector.
The major changes must be realized by the end of this year:
1. Privatizations: On Monday July 11, Venizelos will have to announce to his counterparts the government’s chosen head for the privatization fund, which will have to be established quickly to launch privatizations of 1,7bil euros within 2011. Member states and the Troika will appoint observers for the administration of the fund.
2. Real estate: the General Secretariat of Real Estate Development should be established within the month. The tourism plan (tourism residence) must be adopted in August with a bill for the utilisation of land of Greek Tourist Real Estate. The legal framework for the quick granting of land and a faster recording of real estate should be ready by fall.
3. SOEs: in July, the government will have to prepare a bill for the mergers and eliminations of public utilities in order to vote on it in August. The bill for new cuts in wages and expenditure will have to be ready by then too, TRAINOSE will have to zero its losses and the KTEL deregulation report will have to be submitted.
4. Taxation system: tax offices will face major changes, with 200 out of 280 being eliminated during the summer. Meanwhile, a new bill is being drafted.
5. State expenditure: the government will have to define the qualifications and duties of auditors who will join the ministries. Special departments for economic affairs must be created by September.
6. State administration: everything changes in the public payroll and service development system. The new payroll will take effect in September. The government will set a new framework for staff cuts up to 2015 in July, as well as the monthly observation system of entry, exit and transfer data in the public sector.
7. Public contracts: the authority that will deal with all state commissions will be established within July.
8. Social transfers: a review of benefits and allowances will occur during the summer.
9. Pensions: studies in all supplementary funds to reduce pensions where necessary will have to be completed by September. Disability pension status will be revised at the end of August.
10. Health: the report for reclassification of the personal health sector should be ready in the 3rd trimester with the placement of auditors in all the hospitals.
11. Banks: The BoG will transfer specialized personnel to the bank control section. By September it will have started pressuring banks with issues of capital solvency, in order to proceed with capital increase and restructuring. The financial stability fund will be manned as well.
12. Employment: the legislation to tackle undeclared work will change in July. A study on the effect of the deregulation of professions on competitiveness and prices will be published at the end of September, and a bill will be drafted to amend the law on recognition of professional qualifications.
13. Development: a report on the contribution of the tourism sector and trade on development and employment will come in July, along with a simplification of the institutional framework for exports.
14. Energy: a bill will assign the management of hydroelectric reserves to an independent authority.
15. Technical help: the Troika technical help will commence within the 3rd trimester.
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