Greek government is working hard to draft a multi-bill containing a series of “prior actions” agreed with the troika, including a contentious streamlining of the civil service, in a bid to vote the legislation through Parliament by Sunday and secure the release of EUR 8.8 billion in rescue loans, Kathimerini writes.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said he would brief coalition officials on the measures today before submitting the bill to Parliament on Thursday under an emergency procedure. The vote must take place by Sunday as next week is Holy Week ahead of Orthodox Easter, Stournaras said.
Stournaras will brief the coalition party representatives, wishing to ameliorate the disgruntlement in the two junior partners PASOK and Democratic Left that they have had no briefing on the omnibus bill to be tabled, what it contains and what measure have been agreed with the troika, sources told AMNA.
Stournaras said that Greece would have to approve the prior actions in time for a Eurogroup meeting on May 13, when an installment of EUR 6 billion is due to be approved. The EUR 2.8-billion tranche is set to get the green light when the Euro Working Group meets next Monday.
After a meeting yesterday with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in view of the multi-bill enactment, Stournaras said “we believe that we will be ready until May 13,” the date of the scheduled Eurogroup meeting at which all 17 Eurozone finance ministers are expected to give the green light for the disbursement of the tranche to Greece. Stournaras’ statement suggests the tranche will be disbursed in May, instead of April, tovima.gr writes.
The multi-bill will contain provisions relating to the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014, the number of installments Greeks will be allowed to repay taxes or social security contributions and a 15% reduction on the emergency property tax. There will also be incentives for older employees to take early retirement.