In today’s cabinet meeting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias provided briefing on developments in the Greek-Turkish relations, while Finance Minister Christos Staikouras briefed on the social dividend.
In particular, Mr. Dendias updated the cabinet on the results of his contacts during his recent visits to the Middle East and Gulf countries, as well as yesterday’s visits to Libya, Egypt and Cyprus. According to the government briefing, “the importance of signing the agreement on the construction of the EastMed gas pipeline was highlighted, which is scheduled to take place in Athens on January 2, 2020 in the presence of the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the Prime Minister of Israel.
For his part, Finance Minister Ch. Staikouras informed that the beneficiaries of the so-called social dividend for 2019 will exceed one million, the beneficiary households will exceed 300,000, while a total of 215 million euros will be allocated, a 40-million increase compared to the initial estimates.
Discussions during the cabinet meeting also focused on:
– the draft law of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs “for the support of families and children”, as noted by Minister Giannis Vroutsis and the competent Deputy Minister Domna Michaelides. Specifically, Maximos Mansion states that a birth allowance is institutionally established as a demographic policy measure. Meanwhile, it is intended that the family benefit policy is modernized, but also that it is adapted to current needs: the conditions for granting three other basic benefits (child, housing, mountainous and disadvantaged areas) are being redefined, while arrangements are also introduced to ensure proper functioning of the welfare providers.
In particular for the birth allowance, it will amount to 2,000 euros and will be granted to children born in the country from 1 January 2020, through a simplified grant procedure and a wider range of beneficiaries. The income eligibility criterion is € 70,000 for a young couple who have had their first child (€ 40,000 equivalent family income), while extraordinary provisions are in force when setting the criterion in support for single parent families.
The prime minister noted that “the birth allowance is part of a broader demographic plan. A project complemented by nurseries; a better balance between family and professional life; reforms that bring investments and jobs that give better prospects and ultimately hope for a better life”.
– The Draft Law of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on Waterways.
The draft law was suggested by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. K. Karamanlis and the competent Deputy Minister, Mr. G. Kefalogiannis, stressing that it aims on one hand at liberalizing the institutional framework – by “including” private investors – while on the other hand it looks to simplify and speed up the waterway procedures needed for authorization.
The adoption of the bill is expected to signal the development of a viable waterway network, which will enrich Greece’s tourist industry and serve the continent’s better interconnection with remote and other destinations, a development that has already rekindled interest.
– Draft law of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food for Agricultural Cooperatives.
The responsible Minister, Mr. Voridis, presented the problems the Agricultural Cooperatives in our country are currently facing, stressing that it is essential that the relevant register kept at the Ministry of Rural Development and Food be cleared and updated. Specifically, out of the approximately 6,000 registered Agricultural Cooperatives only 800 are in operation, of which only about 1/5 are considered viable.
In this context, with the proposed bill:
(a) the minimum number of persons required to set up an Agricultural Cooperative is reduced from 20 to 10
(b) Private investors are allowed to hold a share of the Cooperatives of up to 35% by a decision of the general meeting taken by an overwhelming majority;
(c) the process of setting up Agricultural Cooperatives is greatly simplified and sped up
(d) a microfinance of up to 25.000 from the Cooperative is provided for its members;
(e) The possibility of Agricultural Partnerships with all forms of capital companies (SA, LTD, IKE) is expanded
The Council of Ministers also decided on the following:
– The election of three Vice-Presidents of the Cabinet of Ministers and one Vice-President of the Court of Auditors. Specifically, on the recommendation of Minister of Justice Kostas Tsiaras, State Counselors Katerina Christoforidou, Panagiotis Efstratiou and Evangelia Nika were elected as Vice-Presidents of the Cabinet, while Miss Asimina Santoriniou was elected as Vice President of the Court of Auditors.
– The announcement of an open competition for the selection of members of the Board of Directors of the National Transparency Authority, as well as the extension of PSI 33/2006 “Suspension of Appointments and Recruitment in the Public Sector”, with the Minister of Interior Affairs P. Theodorikakos, as rapporteur.
– The election of Manolis Mamatzakis, Professor of Finance in Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex, as a member of the Hellenic Financial Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, Mr. Staikouras.
– The proposal before the Conference of Presidents of the House to elect the Chair and Vice-Chairperson of the Quality Assessment Committee of the Legislative Process. Specifically, with the Minister of State Mr. G. Gerapetritis as rapporteur, Professor Spyros Vlahopoulos, Law Professor at the University of Athens, and Professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Thessaly, Nikolaos Kyriazis were nominated respectively.
– The setup and establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Fair Development Transition of the Region of Western Macedonia and the Municipality of Megalopolis in the post-lignite era, with the rapporteur being the Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. Hadtzidakis.
Finally, the Council of Ministers presented the Handbook of the Law-Making Methodology and Regulatory Impact Analysis, with the Minister of State Mr. G. Gerapetritis as rapporteur, the National Reform Plan for 2020 with the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister as rapporteur, alongside the process of implementation and the actions to speed up NSRF by the Minister of Development and Investment Mr. A. Georgiadis and the Deputy Minister of Development and Investment, Mr. I. Tsakiris. /ibna