Omnibus bill, “Hercules” program, arms programs and Budget to be tabled in Parliament

Omnibus bill, “Hercules” program, arms programs and Budget to be tabled in Parliament

The Government Spokesman, during the briefing of the political writers, focused on the inter-ministerial bill being debated in Parliament, the bill on the “Hercules” Banking program, the arms program, but also on the Budget which is being announced on Saturday.

Inter-ministerial bill

Regarding the omnibus bill, he explained that “Instead of repeating the past, that is, submitting tons of amendments to irrelevant bills, we have chosen a clear path with respect to the Parliament, by bringing a bill comprising all the urgent provisions. Indicatively, through this bill:

-The extension of the protection of the primary residence is extended by 4 months, that is until April 30, 2020.

– The deadline for submitting the application for definitive filing of debts to the Single Social Security Agency (EFKA) in 120 installments is being extended for five months, until 31 May 2020.

– Health providers are also entitled to join a 120-installment repayment plan of the 2019 clawback amount.

– 800 fixed-term Border Guard positions are established, while key issues of this category of staff are addressed, for the effective management of the increased migration/refugee flows.

– A provision is added for the recruitment of seasonal firefighters to respond to emergencies during the fire season.

Tomorrow on Wednesday, the final plenary debate and vote on the bill of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which gives Greek voters abroad the opportunity to vote from the place of their permanent residence, will take place in Parliament.

It will constitute a leading institutional breakthrough and reflect the maturity of the country’s political system, which goes on to actualize the provisions of the Constitution, even with about half a century of delay.

The “Hercules” Program

Two days from now on Thursday, the House of Representatives will debate and vote on the bill by the Ministry of Finace regarding the “Hercules” plan. The program aims to depressurize the banks, as it will clear their balance sheets from red loans that amount to around thirty billion euros, that is, 40% of non-performing loans, and pave the way for providing the market, as well as the real economy, with liquidity lending.

It will also help boost confidence in the banking system and attract investments.

But discussing the “Hercules” Plan does not constitute an expert debate. It concerns all of us.

Because, above all, this project will enable small and medium-sized businesses to raise funds to finance their investment projects, by creating jobs and steady income in our economy.

Meanwhile, households will find liquidity to finance their dreams.

Furthermore, this will be realized in a way that does not burden the Greek taxpayers or the state budget. On the contrary, there will be a benefit from the commissions the State will receive to provide guarantees of around € 200 million annually.

It should be noted that the “Hercules” plan was approved by the European Commission in less than three months, in collaboration with all stakeholders of the banking system, the Bank of Greece, the HFSF and the banks themselves.

Arms Programs

On Friday, the House plenary debates and votes on the bill by the Ministry of National Defense, which primarily focuses on enhancing the defense capability of our Armed Forces and our defense industry. It includes the upgrading agreement for the F-16s and the Mirage 2000 aircrafts, as well as the agreement for the supply of “excess materials” in order to modernize and maintain the Navy submarines (types 209 and 214).

These decisions significantly upgrade the operational capability of the Armed Forces, unblock programs that have been delayed, and strengthen our country’s defense industry.

Budget

On Saturday, the debate on the 2020 Budget will begin in Parliament, which will signal the return of our Homeland to the future.

It incorporates all the reforms we have legislated.

It constitutes the first Budget that not only imposes no additional restrictive measures, but furthermore reduces burdens on households and businesses, as it integrates everything the Prime Minister had announced back in TIF.

It proves that we do what we said we would.

The 2020 Budget is the first step towards ending the vicious cycle of over-taxation.

It tackles, at the same time, the growth and investment gap that has kept Greece at the back of the line in recent years in terms of investment, while highlighting it as champion of unemployment.

It predicts a significant increase in GDP, from 2.2% recorded on the basis of  recent data by ELSTAT in the first 9 months of 2019, to 2.8% in 2020.

Therefore, the Greek GDP, after many years, will come close to 200 billion euros.

That is, it increases gross national income by approximately 7 billion euros compared to this year, or by about 1,600 euros per household.

This Budget proves that “prosperity for all” does not happen by itself, nor through slogans. It takes a plan, a lot of work and consistency, to restore confidence and cultivate realistic optimism. /ibna