Prime Minister Antonis Samaras appealed to his coalition partners to back the new austerity package or see the country fall into “chaos”. The government had completed negotiations on the 2013 budget and the austerity measures after working until the very end to obtain concessions from lenders, Samaras said in a statement, according to Reuters.
According to a statement by the office of Prime Minister, negotiations with the troika have been concluded. “We did everything we could. We exhausted all the limits of pressure and time. We achieved significant improvements even in the final hour,” Samaras said.
“What would happen if the deal isn’t passed and the country is led to chaos?” he said in the statement. “Such dangers must be avoided. That is the responsibility of each party and every MP individually,” he added.
The draft budget for 2013, which provides for measures of EUR 9.2 billion, a GDP contraction of 4.5% and a primary surplus of 0.5%, is tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras today. The budget will have to get the House’s vote by November 11, Kathimerini writes. Along with the budget, the government will submit the updated midterm program as a separate chapter with a report about the measures that will have to be taken by 2016.
Meanwhile, today the Eurogroup of Eurozone finance ministers will also be holding a teleconference to decide on the disbursement of the EUR 31.5 billion tranche of bailout funding for Greece as the Euro Working Group is on its third day of talks in Brussels over Greece.
After a meeting between Employment Minister Yannis Vroutsis and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis yesterday ended inconclusively, Kouvelis’ party reaffirmed its stance opposite to the changes to labour laws; in particular, it rejected the abolition of the marriage bonus for employees and ending the automatic extension of collective wage agreements.
The secretary of the Democratic Left’s central committee, Spyros Lykoudis, said that unless the problem is resolved, there remains the possibility that the party will pull out of government. “We can honestly say that we want consistency in the government,” he said.