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    A worker cleans graffiti outside the central Bank of Greece building in Athens, Greece, July 7, 2015

    Greek Parliament to Vote on Letting Syriza Negotiate New Reform Plan

    © REUTERS / Yannis Behrakis
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    On Friday, the Greek parliament is due to decide on giving the country's government the mandate to conduct talks with international creditors regarding a proposed cash-for-reform deal.

    Friday evening will see a snap vote in the Greek parliament, earlier announced by the country's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who wants the MPs to support government talks on a new round of austerity measures worth a total of 13 billion euros, media reports said.

    On Thursday night, a 13-page document was delivered to all three creditors and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the euro group of finance ministers.

    The proposed plan stipulates slashing a whole array of privileges, such as pensions, tax breaks for Greece's islands and military spending in exchange for a three-year loan deal worth 53.5 billion euros, aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy and resuscitating its economy.

    The new reform plan is due to be approved by the Greek parliament during a separate vote.

    The package pertains to a raft of measures related to Greece's budget, sales tax, island taxes, fiscal reform, pensions, public and financial sectors, tax collection, product market and privatizations.

    On the budget, the government vowed to adhere to its primary surplus targets in the next three years, which will stand at 1 percent, 2 percent and 3 percent in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively.

    As for new tax levels, those worth mentioning include a 23-percent value added tax on restaurants and catering, as well as a reduced 13-percent tax on basic foodstuffs, energy hotels and water; also, these include the so-called 'super reduced' 6-percent tax on pharmaceuticals, books and theater tickets.

    On pensions, the new plan stipulates phasing out the solidarity grants for the poorest pensioners by December 2019 and raising the retirement age to 67 by 2022.

    Additionally, Greece wants to reduce military spending by 100 million euros in 2015 and by 200 million euros in 2016, according to the new plan.

    Athens also pledged to improve tax collection, fight tax evasion and combat corruption. 

    A man passes graffiti in Athens, Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was heading Tuesday to Brussels for an emergency meeting of eurozone leaders, where he will try to use a resounding referendum victory to eke out concessions from European creditors over a bailout for the crisis-ridden country
    © AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis
    Public sector-related measures include, among other things, the introduction of a plan to make it easier to reassign public sector workers to different posts wherever they are needed.

    Separately, the government plans to privatize the electricity grid company, regional airports, as well as the ports of Pireaus and Thessaloniki.

    Meanwhile, Nikos Filis, spokesman of the ruling Syriza party, has made it plain that the parliament will probably say "yes" to the government's intention to carry out negotiations with creditors on the proposed reforms.

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    document, budget, austerity measures, government, vote, parliament, reform, tax, Alexis Tsipras, Greece
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