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Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by Dimitris Ioannou No Comments

Greek coalition government divided over antiracism bill

Samaras and FinMin heads - ND Flickr

photo: PM Flickr

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“The government does not intend to table the draft bill on antiracism in parliament,” government sources told media yesterday after a meeting of the three political leaders of the coalition government, AMNA reports.

“There has been no agreement,” between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis on the draft bill, the same sources added, but clarified that discussion on other issues on agenda was productive.

A date for a new meeting was not set, while the source reassured that there has not been a confidence issue toward minister of Justice Antonis Roupakiotis.

Deputy Interior Minister Haralambos Athanasiou yesterday said the government’s commitment to combat racism doesn’t require new legislation but amendments to existing laws, enet.gr writes. International human rights groups have expressed strong support for the proposed reform, alarmed at a surge in racially-motivated attacks against immigrants and the rise of the Golden Dawn party.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras expressed his optimism that “things are obviously better” and predicted that the country will recover by the end of the year or early 2014. He said that at the end of 2013 or early 2014 the first signs of recovery will show, but he called for caution about the pressures for easing the programme and the impact they can have in Greece’s efforts for a debt haircut in 2014.

“We are still at the beginning”, he said, “and I am worried because I feel the pressure to ease up. What do they want? To relinquish the perspective of achieving a primary surplus this years that will allow us to negotiate a debt haircut in 2014?” The greatest pressure regard exemption of specific categories of public sector employees from the government’s unified payroll.

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