Se­ries of mar­ket re­forms agreed

As part of third bailout, gov­ern­ment will press on with adop­tion of changes rec­om­mended by OECD

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - DIM­I­TRA MANIFAVA

Rad­i­cal changes in re­tail trade, such as the der­e­stric­tion of sales pe­ri­ods and phar­macy own­er­ship and the pro­hi­bi­tion of trans­port­ing bulk spir­its with­out doc­u­men­ta­tion are in im­me­di­ate ef­fect with the new mem­o­ran­dum agree­ment. The above mea­sures in­clude, among oth­ers, the two com­pe­ti­tion tool kits of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD), the adop­tion of which are a pre­req­ui­site of the agree­ment.

Re­gard­ing Sun­day trad­ing, the gov­ern­ment and the cred­i­tors agreed to await the de­ci­sion of the Coun­cil of State. If Greece’s high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court ac­cepts the ap­peal of trade as­so­ci­a­tions and an­nuls the de­ci­sion to pi­lot Sun­day trad­ing all year round in 10 re­gions of the coun­try, then Athens and its cred­i­tors will only re­view the rules that ap­ply for open­ing hours in tourist ar­eas.

If there is no op­po­si­tion, the gov­ern­ment will pro­ceed with pi­lot­ing the mea­sures.

The Greek gov­ern­ment is re­quested to leg­is­late by De­cem­ber this year reg­u­la­tions al­low­ing the sale of non­pre­scrip­tion drugs in stores other than phar­ma­cies so the mea­sure can come into force from June 2016. Other pre­vi­ously closed pro­fes­sions up for dereg­u­la­tion are en­gi­neer­ing, no­tary ser­vices, ac­tu­ar­ies and bailiffs. A re­duc­tion of bu­reau­cracy in li­cens­ing low-risk busi­ness and in­vest­ment is also on the ta­ble.

The pre­req­ui­sites, which are to be voted on and im­ple­mented im­me­di­ately, will be in­cluded on the ba­sis of what is in the mem­o­ran­dum draft. These in­clude the der­e­stric­tion of sales pe­ri­ods, al­low­ing busi­nesses to hold sales when­ever and for as long as they wish and not as dic­tated by the state, the es­tab­lish­ment of a phar­macy by a non-phar­ma­cist, the lift­ing of re­stric­tions on what qual­i­fies as a bak­ery, the re­vi­sion of the Food and Drink Code and the dereg­u­la­tion of short sea ship­ping.

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Fur­ther mea­sures in­clude stream­lin­ing the ex­cise tax im­posed on brew­ers, ban­ning the sale of un­bot­tled tsipouro and re­duc­ing the min­i­mum pe­riod for keep­ing petroleum stocks when out­sourced.

By the end of 2015 the gov­ern­ment must cre­ate a tool­box of sim­i­lar mea­sures in other sec­tors and adopt a roadmap for li­cens­ing en­ter­prises, as well as mak­ing for­eign trade eas­ier.

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