Multi-bill to tie up loose ends

Dom­brovskis says gov’t has ‘clear un­der­stand­ing’ about quick pace needed as new leg­is­la­tion is pre­pared

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to sub­mit a sec­ond multi-bill to Par­lia­ment to­mor­row with the aim of set­tling a num­ber of un­re­solved is­sues ahead of the first re­view of the third bailout pro­gram, which is due in Novem­ber.

The om­nibus bill was be­ing pre­pared dur­ing the visit to Athens of Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Vice Pres­i­dent Valdis Dom­brovskis, who told Kathimerini yes­ter­day that he was leav­ing Greece with a “clear un­der­stand­ing and com­mit­ment” from the gov­ern­ment that it will “work as quickly as pos­si­ble” to en­sure that it is in a po­si­tion to com­plete the re­view in Novem­ber.

A visit to Athens by Greece’s lenders last week con­firmed that only around a third of the 49 prior ac­tions de­manded of the coali­tion had been com­pleted. The gov­ern­ment has since set about is­su­ing the cir­cu­lars and draft­ing the leg­is­la­tion needed to com­plete the re­main­ing tasks.

Dom­brovskis ac­knowl­edged there is “quite a lot of work” for Athens to do over the com­ing days but that both sides aim to en­sure the first re­view will be com­pleted within Novem­ber.

“The suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of the first re­view would send a re­li­able sig­nal to the Greeks, the other coun­tries in the eu­ro­zone and po­ten­tial in­vestors that things are back on track,” said Dom­brovskis.

Sources in Brus­sels told Kathimerini that it is un­likely enough prior ac­tions will have been com­pleted by to­mor­row’s Euro Work­ing Group and that the aim should be to se­cure the dis­burse­ment of the next sub­tranche of 2 bil­lion eu­ros by the time eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters meet for the Novem­ber 9 Eurogroup.

Dom­brovskis ad­mit­ted it is un­likely that the first re­view can be com­pleted by Novem­ber 15, which was also the ini­tial dead­line for the re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion of Greek banks. How­ever, he was hope­ful that the re­view would be con­cluded within Novem­ber.

“You need to have the pro­gram on track and to com­plete the bank re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion,” said the EU com­mis­sioner, link­ing the two tar­gets.

The vis­it­ing of­fi­cial also con­firmed that he had dis­cussed the re­cent sack­ing of Ka­te­rina Sav­vaidou as gen­eral sec­re­tary for pub­lic rev­enues with Greek of­fi­cials but said that the Com­mis­sion could not in­ter­vene in the mat­ter as the ju­di­cial process is un­der way. He stressed, how­ever, that the gov­ern­ment must take steps to strengthen the po­si­tion’s in­de­pen­dence.

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