The emergence of the leadership of Justice, which has remained headless, was one of the items of the agenda of the Cabinet meeting held for the first time at the Maximos Mansion, without cameras and direct broadcasts as used to be the case, since the prime minister has stated “we focus on substance rather than communication”.
Another difference with the previous government is was that the Cabinet meeting started on time at 4:00 in the afternoon without half an hour or two hours delay, it lasted for two hours, and the ministers did not make any statements and or speak off the record to journalists.
According to information from government sources, the current cabinet has authorized Justice Minister Kostas Tsiaras to nominate to the House three candidates for the positions of the President and Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, choosing strictly among the 6 most senior – for each post – senior judges based on the Yearbook. It is reminded that Justice remains without leadership since the President of the Republic did not sign the presidential decrees for the appointment of the supreme judges chosen by the previous government. Since the presidential decrees were not signed, the government felt it had no commitment and started the process from scratch.
The main part of the meeting was about the economic developments and the two bills that the government will bring to the House, the tax and the inter-ministerial. The Prime Minister gave directions for the rapid implementation of reforms and the commitment of ministers to the government program.
The same government sources say that during the cabinet meeting “all the positive developments for the prospects of the Greek economy (historically low borrowing rates, low returns on Greek bonds and treasury bills, successful Greek banks’ issuance in the financial markets, return of deposits to banks in recent years) were highlighted, and the prime minister gave clear instructions to the ministers.
In particular, he told the ministers that “rapid implementation of reforms and loyal commitment to the government program are needed, given the confidence already seen in the international market for the first actions of the new government.” In this context, he asked them to “keep their ministry budgets in the remaining months of 2019 and not to exceed the strict limits of the projected expenditure, stressing that this is a prerequisite for achieving the first goals that will lead the country to a definitive exit from the vicious circle of crisis and anemic development.
Immediate filing of the tax bill
In this context, Finance minister, Christos Staikouras, briefed the minister on the Finances of the State, and it was decided to immediately deposit the first tax bill of the government with the reduction of ENΦΙΑ and the regulation of 120 installments.
According to Mr. Staikouras, the reduction of ENFIA amounts to a mean 22% in 2019. From government regulation, 3.9 million taxpayers will see larger reductions in their ENFA, compared to the previous government’s proposals, which did not include 500,000 middle-class citizens, who will no also see significant reductions.
The 120 installments regulation is also improved, as the minimum installment is set at 20 euros per month (from 30 euros) while the interest rate is reduced to 3 percent from 5 percent. A corresponding provision will also be included for insurance contributions (which will also reduce the interest rate from 5 to 3%) in the interministerial bill.
The interministerial bill to be tabled next week
With regard to the inter-ministerial bill to be tabled next week, it has been decided, according to governmental sources, to include provisions that enhance the governance of municipalities and regions through:
a) the establishment of the possibility of partnerships in municipalities, with the mandatory inclusion of the faction of the mayor or the prefector,
b) securing a majority of the mayor and the prefector in the finance committees
c) Ensure the majority of the mayor and the district governor to all local government institutions of first and second degree
d) Adaptation of the way in which the budget of the Local Authorities is voted – ultimately – in the selection of the proposal –
The inter-ministerial bill also includes provisions through which:
– the universities regain their freedom of expression through the abolition of current asylum lawlessness.
– a true Digital Government ministry is established to transform the country’s public administration and economy.
– they allows for a digital subscription to reduce bureaucracy, which will drastically reduce the current standby time.
-the archaeological resources fund is strengthened in order to provide more services to all visitors in the archaeological sites, with the immediate aim of opening the cafeterias that until today remain closed.
– they provide for the distribution drugs to cancer patients at home, or at their place of hospitalization, without queues and hassle.
At the ministerial meeting there was also a briefing by the competent minister, and Greece’s preparations for dealing with the consequences of a possible disorganized Brexit were discussed.