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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-08-03

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Troika presents progress report to FinMin
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Troika presents progress report to FinMin

    ANA-MPA/The European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika's team of inspectors presented finance minister George Papaconstantinou on Monday with a draft progress report they drew up after a week-long visit in Athens, containing their ascertations on the Greek economy and recommendations for further changes. Papaconstantinou and the troika heads, European Commission Deputy Director General for economic and financial affairs Servaas Deroose and IMF European Department deputy director Poul Thomsen and ECB division chief Klaus Masuch, will have a final meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

    High-ranking finance officials believe that a 9 billion euros second tranche of the EU-IMF support mechanism loan to Greece has been secured, with disbursement scheduled for September 13.

    The optimism rests on the fact that the commitments Greece had assumed for the first half of 2010 have either been completed or are at a very advanced stage, the budget is being executed normally and the existing risks have been recognised.ANA-MPA

    According to a senior finance ministry official, speaking after Papaconstantinou's last working session with the troika on Friday, the next steps concern the Kallikratis local government reorganisation plan, the streamlining of the Hellenic Rail Organisation (OSE), which is the country's biggest loss-making organisation, and the opening of the closed-shop professions, while the commitments contained in the Memorandum will be updated and itemised, but no new issues will be opened up.

    In that context, the government is determined to proceed immediately with the opening, or new manner of organisation, of a series of professions with an omnibus bill by the end of the year, anticipating that no serious reactions will arise, particularly following the outcome of the freight and fuel truck owners' strike. This category includes pharmacies, accounting offices, architects, real estate brokers, liquid fuel stations, taxis and lawyers. Up to now, the state has been setting minimum fees in these professions or safety valves for entering the market.

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The European Commission, ECB and IMF troika's progress report on implementation of the Memorandum, the Finance Ministry's orders for audits in Public Utilities and organisations (DEKO), hospitals and municipalities, reactions against the possibility of part-privatisation of PPC, and the battle against tax evasion dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Second installment of the loan to Greece positive".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Chaos over the unlicenced buildings - Government's safari to impose fines".

    AVGHI: "Bottomless barrel".

    AVRIANI: "Following the finance ministry's administrative audit, storm of shutdowns of municipal enterprises and other organisations that have become scandal-breeding 'industries'."

    ELEFTHEROS: "New storm of taxes drains households".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Government admits the scissoring of the 360 euros base pension".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "PPC workers' union president threatens that if the government attempts to sell PPC plants they will turn off the switches".

    ESTIA: "Major losses from the strike - One week wasted for the economy".

    ETHNOS: "Financial Crimes Corps (SDOE) raid in public hospitals".

    IMERISSIA: "The banking rally points at deals - Merger scenarios in the sector rekindle".

    KATHIMERINI: "All excessive expenditures under the microscope - Finance Ministry audit on hospitals and other public organisations".

    LOGOS: "Suffocating pressure for changes - Expenditures and Public Organisations under the troika's microscope".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Troika expresses serious reservations on materialisation of government's pledge on fiscal and restructuring issues".

    NIKI: "IKA (state Social Security Foundation) on the threshold of defaulting on payments - 16 billion euros 'black hole' devastates 2.2 million insured".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Working class families: Agony over daycare centers and wages for thousands of parents".

    TA NEA: "Closed-shop professions: The enigma with the opening".

    TO VIMA: "Government hires Italian Tomaso Pandoa Schioppa for the country's smooth return to the markets".

    VRADYNI: "Shock...for thousands of households - Troika's order for increases in PPC rates".


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