A mood of cautious optimism reportedly prevailed in the ranks of the government yesterday as a top European official told Kathimerini that Eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels next Monday are expected to make a “political decision” on two tranches of rescue funding for Greece worth a total of EUR 7.3 billion.
The decision likely to be taken at the Eurogroup summit will relate to a EUR 4.3-billion tranche for the first quarter of the year and a EUR 3.3-billion installment slated for the second quarter, though the release of the latter slice will also require a separate positive assessment by the Euro Working Group. The European official emphasized, however, that authorities still have much to do, particularly in the areas of overhauling the public sector and the tax collection system.
Meanwhile, the Center for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) has indicated that the government’s indecisiveness constitute any half-hearted attempts to deal with the opening of closed professions ineffective, tovima.gr writes.
While some professions have been deregulated to a great extent (chartered surveyors, tax consultants and customs agents), many others remain unchanged or experience further regulation.
KEPE notes that the greatest degree of regulation are the “scientific professions” such as lawyers, mechanics and health practitioners, as well as a few others such as taxi drivers and newspaper retailer.
KEPE suggests in its study that apparent benefits in deregulated professions do not reflect a change in attitude, as much as a
reduction in new professionals.
The report examined the degree of regulation in 90 professions/economic activities affected by the relevant reform laws. As explained in the paper, the degree of regulation is measured both for the regime before and for that after the laws’ implementation and the methodology employed is that of composite regulation indice.
The results of the analysis point to the existence of significant barriers to competition before the reforms and significant changes in the regulatory regime after the application of the relevant laws.
Moreover, the results suggest that occupations characterised by more stringent restrictions before the adoption of the laws tend to be characterised by a comparatively higher intensity of regulations after the laws’ implementation.