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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-11-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Finance ministry: Debt settlements a law of state, will be enforced

  • [01] Finance ministry: Debt settlements a law of state, will be enforced

    ANA-MPA -- The debt settlement measure allowing 100 installments for paying off overdue debts to the state will go ahead, the finance ministry stressed in an announcement on Saturday, responding to a front-page articles in the newly established newspaper "Agora" and the daily "Kathimerini".

    "The measure that gives the option of paying off debts to the public sector through a settlement of up to 100 installments is a law of the state and will be enforced," the ministry stressed.

    According to "Agora", the EU-IMF troika representing the country's international creditors had sent an e-mail demanding that the government take back the measure recently passed by Parliament. Under the headline "Troika veto to debt settlement," Kathimerini similarly referred to troika demands in writing that the 100 installments be repealed, judging that the financial cost would be too high and could not be covered by equivalent measures.

    The ministry announcement noted that "talks with the troika are ongoing and include a broad range of issues aiming at the maximum effectiveness of government initiatives."

    The article prompted strong criticism from opposition parties, with Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos saying it revealed the "utter humiliation" of the government, which was ordered to repeal laws by the troika via e-mail, and calling for immediate elections.

    Main opposition SYRIZA noted that, at the same time as the prime minister was announcing the start of the "post-memorandum era", the troika was taking the winds out of his sails with an e-mail forbidding him from having an opinion on the crucial issue of settlements for debts to the public sector.

    "A hostage to its strategy, the government is now reaping the results of its choices," SYRIZA's announcement said, adding that its own proposals unveiled in Thessaloniki "took into account the real available income of debtors" and did not consider this an issue to be negotiated with factors and centres outside of Greece.

    The Democratic Left (DIM.AR) urged the government to fend off "all idea of withdrawing the measure" and said the new demands revealed "how very distant from reality was the excessive optimism about an end of memorandums". It stressed that the government must make it clear to Greece's lenders that the ability of Greeks to pay taxes and their economic capacity had been entirely depleted.

    For the PASOK party, the junior partner in Greece's coalition government, the measure was a law of state and "must be implemented without delay," adding that a measure for non-performing business loans will similarly be passed.

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