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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-03-16
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Report on Social Security Reforms Handed to A. LoberdosTuesday, 16 March 2010 12:00
The president of the Experts' Committee on reforms in social security system handed its report to Employment Minister, Andreas Loberdos. Competent bodies will hold discussion on the report while social security draft-bill will be tabled to the Parliament in 8 weeks.
Experts' Committee Proposals
The Experts' Committee report handed to Employment Minister A. Loberdos on Tuesday provides for separation of pension in two parts, basic and reversionary.
Furthermore, it proposes new funds for the social security system among them special contribution for pension and establishment of highest pension ceiling.
The draft-bill is expected to be tabled to the Parliament after Easter and passed in mid May. Draft-bill on equal retirement age for men and women will be passed earlier.
Source: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 News item: 34346
 Greece's Support Plan Referred to EU SummitTuesday, 16 March 2010 10:13
The Eurogroup during its meeting on Monday decided that Euro region member states soon will assume coordinated action to support Greece's economy, if necessary. However, the Eurogroup referred ratification of its proposals to Summit Meeting to be held on March, 25. Ecofin is discussing the Eurogroup plan today. Continuing his marathon diplomatic contacts to secure political support, Prime-minister George Papandreou is in Hungary. It is described as a move of high political symbolism since Hungary is among EU member states that has referred to the IMF.
EcoFin Crucial Meeting
Ecofin is discussing Greece's economy support plan during its meeting on Tuesday following Eurogroup failure to reach a decision on the form of aid to Greece.
Eurozone Finance Ministers referred to EU Summit Meeting to ratify decision for support to Greece's economy. But they agreed that Eurozone member states would soon assume coordinated action if necessary while Zean Claude Yunker made clear that Greece has not asked for financial aid.
Shortly before the opening of Ecofin meeting, Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado said that EU 27 member states have agreed on a mechanism to assist Greece. She , however, said "Greece has not asked for financial aid so far". Belgian Finance Minister, Didier Reynders said that his country was ready to participate in any support plan for Greece's economy. "It could either be guarantees or loans, we will see. It is on an optional base" said Reynders.
The situation is much better compared to last month said Swedish Finance Minister, Anders Borg. "The Greek government has made steps towards the right direction. It has made correct decisions on taxation and it deserves support now said Anders Borg.
Eurogroup Monday's meeting reconfirmed that Euro region member states would assume an effective and coordinated action, if necessary, and determined its technical aspects.
A relevant Eurozone announcement said that the target was to ensure economic stability in the euro region and not to offer financial aid at an average Eurozone interest rate.
Jean Claude Yunker, Eurogroup President, said that plan agreed, if judged necessary, is the allocation of bilateral loans under EU coordination. He also underlined that any financial aid to Greece would be in accordance to EU law and national law of Euro region member states.
In the same line was European Commissioner Olhi Rehn statement, who underlined that the Greek government has taken significant measures.
However, he stressed except for fiscal stability Greece's economy faced a serious problem with international competitiveness, which should be dealt as it should be also dealt in a number of other EU member states.
During its meeting, Eurogroup said that Greece has taken sufficient measures to meet targets for the current year provided their effective and timely implementation. They have also underlined the need for correction of inequalities and restoration of competitiveness to keep Greece's economy on viable growth and bring deficit below 3% till 2012. Also, Greek authorities are called to give details on the implementation course of measures as well as on additional measures to meet targets for 2011 and 2012 budgets. Athens should submit its report to EU competent services till May, 15.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 34343