Troika asks for additional contribution due to banks
A new black hole of 555 million euros emerged in yesterday's meeting of the economic team with the Troika, which is asking the government to cover it either through a new contribution...
A new black hole of 555 million euros emerged in yesterday's meeting of the economic team with the Troika, which is asking the government to cover it either through a new contribution or a special tax cut from this year on bonuses of active employees and pensioners.
According to information, this is about the obligation of domestic banks to return to the State the sum of 500 million euros by the end of 2012. This amount must be returned in the form of dividends and regards the State aid with preference shares received by the banks in 2008 under Alogoskoufis’ law.
Members of the economic team said that the Troika asked for this amount not to be returned to the State, which caused the reaction of Finance minister Yannis Stournaras and deputy minister Christos Staikouras, who raised the objection that this revenue is recorded in the budget for 2012. On September 7, in a letter to the governor of the Bank of Greece Yorgos Provopoulos and the president of the Greek Association of Banks Yorgos Zanias, Staikouras asked their banks to pay 500 million euros.
In these appeals, the Troika had originally proposed either the imposition a new special contribution or the abolition of bonuses for public sector employees and pensioners from this year, to fill the black hole with a direct fiscal effect. These proposals were not accepted by the Greek side so the Troika counter proposed either the implementation of new cuts on wages or the imposition of a special contribution on all bank employees to fill the gap. Neither of the two was accepted so the issue remains unresolved.
According to sources, as to the remaining issues in the negotiations on the package of 13.9 billion euros in measures, the discussion namely focuses on the measures for 2014. The Troika, however, insists on additional measures of 9 billion euros in 2013, but members of the Finance ministry are saying that "we are trying not to get far from the 7.8 billion euros provided as additional measures in the budget for 2013."
All this will come back to the negotiating table at 6.30 pm today at the meeting of the minister of Finance with the Troika heads.
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