Battle over Price of Milk and Bread

Fresh milk with a shelf life of one day, bread priced by weight, sales of prescribed medicines at supermarkets and discounts even at outlet stores were some of the potential changes to the Greek market outlined by Development Minister Kostis Chatzidakis who, together with OECD (Office of Economic Development) president Angel Gurria, presented the organisation’s report on measures to counter distortions in the Greek market.


New Shots Taken At Stournaras

Dora Bakoyianni and other ‘blue’ [New Democracy] MPs attack the Finance Minister over the budget which they deem ‘anti-development’ due excessive levels of taxation. ‘There is no margin for lightening [the tax burden]’ Mr Stournaras replies.

[The protest from New Democracy MPs is particularly significant as the coalition government’s has only a razor thin majority in parliament. The government is supported by MPs from New Democracy and PASOK. It recently survived a vote of no confidence initiated by opposition party SYRIZA but lost support in the process when PASOK MP Theodora Tzakri rebelled against her party (and was removed from it) cutting the coalition government’s majority to 153 MPs out of 300. With the government under pressure from Greece’s lenders to pass a number of unpopular reforms in the coming months, any rumbles of discontent from its own ranks threatens its increasingly shaky hold on power.]


They’re Cutting the Pensions of Anyone With An Income

Means-testing for the payment of pensions has been proposed by the troika who are taking advantage of the crisis caused by high unemployment, wage cuts and black-market labour. [Labour Minister] Giannis Vroutsis is attempting to refute that the lenders even made the suggestion. SYRIZA: The government’s subservient stance has whetted their apetite for proposing measures that in their own countries would cause riots.



Tug of War Between Athens and Troika

A tug of war over the timing of the troika’s (representatives of the IMF, ECB and EC) arrival is underway, as the distance between Athens and the lender’s representatives over the issues of foreclosed home auctions and mass lay-offs remains large, due to the rigid stance of PASOK MPs. Finance Minister Giannis Stournaras conducted a tele-conference with the troika yesterday with the aim of bringing the date for their return forward to next Monday, as opposed to the week after next. 



Protests in Naousa Over Heating Oil

5,000 students attending the 54 schools in the northern Greek municipality of Naousa stayed home yesterday demanding the emergency release of 200,000 euros in added funds to cover the schools’ heating bills.