Senin, 02 April 2012

Greek politics , woes , just another Monday.....

PM blocks amendments

 Parties’ last-minute changes to bills ahead of polls prompt Papademos to act
 Transport Minister Makis Voridis denied that the amendment he proposed has been intended to favor some truck owners over others
Alarmed by the number of last-minute amendments political parties are trying to squeeze through Parliament ahead of the elections, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Monday forced a minister to withdraw one such change to legislation and has asked all members of the Cabinet to clear any alterations to bills with his office.
Sources said that Papademos intervened to prevent an amendment to a draft law on the liberalization of the road haulage sector. It appears that the change to the legislation would have left some greater restrictions in place for those owning licenses to drive tankers, compared to other trucks. Greece has been trying to open up its road haulage sector since 2010 but has often come up against strong resistance from truck owners.
Transport Minister Makis Voridis denied the amendment was intended to favor some owners over others. He said it only related to those holding old permits and did not place any restrictions on new licenses. “The aim of the amendment was to encourage the issuing of new licenses,” insisted Voridis, who accepted that objections from PASOK meant that he would have withdrawn the amendment.
Alternate Defense Minister Yiannis Ragousis, who held Voridis’s position in the past, accused New Democracy of trying to curry favor with voters and party supporters ahead of the parliamentary elections, which are expected to take place on May 6.
PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos held an informal meeting with party officials on Monday to agree that no Socialist cabinet members would submit any amendments that were not required by the terms of Greece’s new bailout or did not have the Cabinet’s approval.
Sources told Kathimerini that Papademos and his advisers have been left aghast by the efforts of members of both PASOK and New Democracy to slip last-minute amendments through Parliament. This led to Papademos informing his ministers in writing on Friday that they would need to clear any such changes with his office. This task has been assigned to State Minister Giorgos Stavropoulos. As of yesterday, Stavropoulos had 86 amendments to examine.
Government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis said the date of the elections would be announced during Orthodox Holy Week, between April 9 and 15, which suggests that Greece will go to the polls on May 6. PASOK is set to ask for four televised debates to be held before the elections, two involving just Venizelos and ND leader Antonis Samaras and two in which all party leaders would participate.


Threat of more measures for 2012

 Next gov’t may need to act urgently in June should revenues keep missing the targets
By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou and Sotiris Nikas
New measures will be required for this year's budget if the state shows signs of relaxation because of the elections in order to prevent the budget deficit from drifting, a high-ranking official at the Finance Ministry said on Monday. He added that the new government would be expected to carry out any new measures in June.
With the first signs from the revenues front for this year being negative, indicating a lag of 1 billion euros in the first two months and another poor performance in March, extra measures in June appear ever more likely, with the official adding that this was the demand of the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the troika.
Revenues before tax returns grew by 3.3 percent in March, according to sources, which is exclusively attributed to the restructuring of outstanding debts. This means that last month’s revenues amounted to 3.5 billion euros, up from 3.4 billion in March 2011. If tax refunds exceed 100 million euros then the comparison year-on-year will be negative.
Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis has urged the tax collection mechanism to remain alert throughout the election period in order to bolster public revenues and avoid any extra measures.
The new government will at any rate have to introduce additional measures in June for 2013 and 2014 to cover 11.5 billion euros, as the troika has dictated. The Center of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) is next week expected to deliver to the government its first draft of proposals for the measures needed for 2013-14. The final report on the proposals is expected by the end of May and will include more measures than are actually needed for the next government to make its choice.
Next week, most likely on Tuesday, the Cabinet will decide on the terms for the recapitalization of Greek banks. This will be conducted with bonds from the European Financial Stability Facility. The government is examining the special characteristics of the bonds, such as their maturity period etc.



By Chryssa Liaggou
The energy market’s cash flow problem is worsening as the deficit of the Electrical Energy Market Operator (LAGHE), the successor to DESMHE, has soared to 500 million euros.
The pressure is growing on the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), which will have to pay its international suppliers at a specific time while its coffers are empty because its customers are unable to pay their debts to it.
The problem was explained in a letter that DEPA’s chief executive, Haris Sachinis, sent to Energy Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou and Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis last week. The debts electricity producers, who use natural gas to produce power, have to DEPA run up to 300 million euros.

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