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Hopes in Athens due to the red alert in Brussels

Hopes in Athens due to the red alert in Brussels

Athens is relieved to hear the alarm ringing from Brussels about the debt crisis, which shows that there is “no time to lose” in reacting to the Greek crisis.

Athens is relieved to hear the alarm ringing from Brussels about the debt crisis, which shows that there is “no time to lose” in reacting to the Greek crisis.

However, despite the credit downgrade of Portugal and the objections of Washington, the IMF and Jean-Claude Trichet to the Europeans that are reluctant to come to decisions about Greece, the problem had to reach neighboring Italy in order for them to understand that they have already lost a lot of time.

Venizelos is already in Brussels for the informal Eurogroup meeting, which is predicted to be a long one. As would have been the case without any solution from the endless discussions between governments and banks, Herman Van Rompuy decided to intervene, calling for an extra meeting in Brussels with European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank head Jean Claude Trichet and Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker.

Their estimation shows that Greece needs a 2nd rescue package, as Italy is already under major speculative attack on their bonds, and if this escalates, Europe will be unable to deal with them.

Venizelos will try to dismiss our partners’ worries, showing the tight schedules by which the austerity measures will proceed in our country.

Implementation law no2 must be voted on under very quick procedures, and it will include new changes in the social security system, labour relations and working hours. Venizelos is counting a lot on the new taxation law he is also preparing.

Dimitris Reppas is bringing the single payroll to the electronic government ministry next month, while eliminations and mergers of public entities are being sped up, placing many surplus employees in reserve status, without excluding layoffs.

Papakonstantinou is moving toward an energy market deregulation and privatizations of DEPA and DESFA, while bringing in a regulation for unauthorised construction.

Haris Kastanidis, in the Interior ministry, is ready to deliver a bill on referenda. He is also preparing presidential decrees for consolidation programs for over-indebted municipalities, staff transfers from the transport ministry to the regions, as well as the transfer of responsibilities to municipalities and regions.

Kostas Skandalidis in the Rural Development ministry, is fast-forwarding the sale or rental of rural state land and the elimination of 4.000 cooperatives out of the 7.500 in existence.

The Justice ministry will see a speedy clearance of several tax issues.

All of the above will take place so that we convince our lenders to issue a new loan.

The European Commission is putting increasingly suffocating pressure on the government to immediately create a joint committee to exercise daily control on ministries and provide technical assistance to ministers.

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