Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Greece's reform commitments on the way to approval

Greece's responses to the requirement that they specify their "reform" commitments for the four months of the financial assistance from the Eurogroup formerly known as the Troika indicate that they intend to focus on a couple of the "good government" initiatives that are a standard part of the neoliberal "reform" package, but are of little real interest to the One Percenters and their lobbyists. Those would be fighting corruption and pushing for more efficient tax collection, i.e., prevent the wealthy from evading taxes.

The proposals have to be approved by the German Bundestag. And Merkel's government is supporting them. It's interesting to see that the dissenting votes against it are likely to come from Merkel's own CDU/CSU party, while the SPD, the Greens and apparently much of the Left Party in the Bundestag will support them. (Union warnt vor drittem Kreditprogramm 25.02.2015) The Left Party has cast dissenting votes against the Greek aid because of the draconian conditions attached to them.

Christiane Schlötzer notes in Reform-Brief aus Athen: Liste der Vernunft 24.02.2015, Greece intends to continue with its anti-austerity course and notes how anti-corruption and better tax collection are the items being prioritized by Alexis Tsipras' SYRIZA government. She notes that the biggest tax dodge in Greece seems to be from oil smuggling, or at least the dodge "of the biggest style."

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