PM Samaras Meets the Troika, Finance Minister Sworn-in

Posted by in Politics

Slowly and gradually Greece got its government complete. Yiannis Stournaras was sworn-in as Finance Minister on Thursday morning and thus under the presence of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. He made his first official appearance after his eye surgery almost two weeks ago.

Antonis Samaras seemed in good mood even thought his right eye was still swollen.

After the sworn-in ceremony, the Prime Minister went to his office for an appointment with the representatives of the Troika – Greece’s lenders IMF, EU and ECB. It is the first visit of Troika in Athens after two months, due to the two rounds of elections in May 6 and June 17, 2012. The meeting is more of “exploratory character” – Samaras is reportedly to discuss with the Troika his government programme and eventually do some fine tuning if necessary to satisfy Greece’s lenders.

Now that the Greek government is complete and the time is running and pressing as always, the governance programme of the coalition of Nea Dimocratia, PASOK and Democratic Left is scheduled to be read in the parliament of Friday afternoon by Samaras. 

According to economic news portal Capital.gr, the three coalition partners agreed on issues such as privatizations, labour, layoffs and redundancy in the public sector, mergers and terminations of public sector organizations. They also agreed to accelerate structural changes, to proceed directly and rapidly with the privatizations and concessions, as well as the closures and mergers of public services.

The governance programme is expected to bring some disagreement with the Troika, as the latter insists on 15,000 layoffs in the public sector by 2012, but Grece’s government partners do not want to proceed to such measure but alternative like personnel transfer.

Key priorities of the Greek government are:

-no further cuts in the wages of the private sector

- a new taxation system

- 1:10 formula for hiring in the public sector

-changes in the election law

-structural reforms, privatizations and open of closed professions (again!)

The coalition government is scheduled to seek vote of confidence on Sunday midnight.

The Troika is expected to complete its report in the middle of August.