Tax col­lec­tion, re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion and lay­off pro­gram on the ta­ble

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY SOTIRIS NIKAS

Six burn­ing is­sues re­main on the ne­go­ti­a­tions ta­ble in talks be­tween the Fi­nance Min­istry and the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the coun­try’s cred­i­tors, which will have to be con­cluded by to­mor­row evening ahead of Min­is­ter Yan­nis Stournaras’s de­par­ture for Eurogroup and ECOFIN meet­ings on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

No de­ci­sions were reached dur­ing the meet­ings the min­istry held with the in­ter­na­tional ex­perts be­fore last night’s cru­cial meet­ing of the coali­tion lead­ers, al­though the two sides did re­view the sub­jects that re­main to be ad­dressed.

The aim is for the as­sess­ment re­port by the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank and the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund – col­lec­tively know as the troika – to be com­pleted by July 31 so that the IMF can ap­prove the dis­burse­ment of the next in­stall­ment of 1.8 bil­lion eu­ros on Au­gust 1. Oth­er­wise the Fund will not be able to sup­port the Greek pro­gram given that there will be a fund­ing gap for the next 12 months. In that case, the eu­ro­zone would have to find a way to cover the gap, with the IMF pres­sur­ing for a new hair­cut for the debt in the hands of the of­fi­cial sec­tor.

of the coun­try’s cred­i­tors asked the Fi­nance Min­istry to sup­ply them with de­tails on the progress of the re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion process of the main banks in the lo­cal credit sec­tor.

The first is­sue on the ta­ble con­cerns the tax mech­a­nism. The troika asked for data to es­tab­lish whether rev­enues from tax mea­sures for the sec­ond half of the year are cer­tain, es­pe­cially the prop­erty tax paid via elec­tric­ity bills, which will have cer­tain ex­emp­tions and will be 15 per­cent lower than last year. The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the tax mon­i­tor­ing and col­lec­tion mech­a­nisms is also cru­cial, while the troika also re­quested de­tails on the new prop­erty tax for 2014.

The lo­cal bank­ing sys­tem’s re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion and the progress of pri­va­ti­za­tions are two other se­ri­ous is­sues, but the troika is par­tic­u­larly keen to see de­tails re­gard­ing the agreed mea­sures that have not been im­ple­mented; this mostly con­cerns the con­tri­bu­tion of 0.1 per­cent of en­ter­prises’ turnover for the fund for the self-em­ployed (OAEE).

The troika fur­ther re­quested fig­ures on the fi­nan­cial state of so­cial se­cu­rity funds and a de­tailed pro­gram of state sec­tor lay­offs. Up to the end of June some 2,000 civil ser­vants would have to leave, but the troika wants de­tails for all lay­offs up to end-2014, to­tal­ing 15,000.

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