Cred­i­tors de­mand civil ser­vice mon­i­tor

Draft re­vi­sion of bailout agree­ment in­cludes se­ries of in­ter­ven­tions such as cuts to re­tire­ment lump sums

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The draft of the up­dated bailout agree­ment that the cred­i­tors have sent to the gov­ern­ment pro­vides for the strict mon­i­tor­ing of civil ser­vice em­ploy­ees and salaries, fresh so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem in­ter­ven­tions and an au­to­matic sys­tem for the con­fis­ca­tion of as­sets be­long­ing to those with debts to the state.

Vot­ing on the midterm fis­cal plan for the 2017-20 pe­riod is among the mile­stones for the sec­ond re­view of the coun­try’s third bailout, and the cred­i­tors in­sist it must set “lim­its on salary ex­pen­di­ture and the num­ber of civil ser­vants that are con­sis­tent with the achieve­ment of the fis­cal tar­gets.” The 2017 bud­get al­ready pro­vides for sav­ings of 23.8 mil­lion eu­ros from the ra­tio­nal­iza­tion of the civil ser­vice, while fur­ther in­ter­ven­tions have not been ruled out.

The draft re­vi­sion of the agree­ment also fore­sees new cuts to re­tire­ment lump sums, pres­sure for the com­ple­tion of the re­cal­cu­la­tion of all pen­sions up to the end of 2017, cut­ting per­son­nel num­bers at the new Sin­gle So­cial Se­cu­rity En­tity (EFKA), with a big re­duc­tion in the num­ber of directors, as well as the co­op­er­a­tion of the tax and so­cial se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties with a pri­vate com­pany for the col­lec­tion of ex­pired debts.

This pro­posal has come de­spite the gov­ern­ment’s pledge that the so­cial se­cu­rity is­sue is closed, and it will make ne­go­ti­a­tions on the la­bor re­form even more com­pli­cated.

It even al­lows for a de­lay in the full op­er­a­tion of EFKA (orig­i­nally sched­uled for Jan­uary 1), say­ing that all ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures will have to be com­pleted by March 2017.

The draft agree­ment fur­ther dic­tates the in­tro­duc­tion of an au­to­matic sys­tem of con­fis­ca­tions for tax­pay­ers with ex­pired debts to the state that will have to start op­er­at­ing from 2017. The cred­i­tors in­sist that the strate­gic plan for the col­lec­tion of ar­rears to the state must be com­pleted by the end of this year, with ex­pired debts hav­ing come to 92 bil­lion eu­ros. Any debts that are deemed im­pos­si­ble to col­lect should be writ­ten off, the cred­i­tors added.

They are also de­mand­ing a dead­line of June 2017 for the com­pul­sory use of credit card ter­mi­nals (POS) by en­ter­prises and self-em­ployed pro­fes­sion­als in pro­fes­sions con­sid­ered high-risk for tax eva­sion. An­other de­mand con­cerns the ad­just­ment by June of prop­erty prices used for tax pur­poses, known as “ob­jec­tive val­ues.”

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