Das verspricht Griechenland


24. Februar 2015. Griechenland hat seine Reformvorhaben aufgelistet. Was davon ist alt? Was ist neu? Was kann helfen? FAZ.NET führt Sie durch den Originaltext der Reformvorschläge. Klicken Sie auf die roten Marker, um die Anmerkungen ein- und auszublenden.

Dear President of the Eurogroup,

In the Eurogroup of 20 February 2015 the Greek government was invited to present to the institutions, by Monday 23rd February 2015, a first comprehensive list of reform measures it is envisaging, to be further specified and agreed by the end of April 2015. In addition to codifying its reform agenda, in accordance with PM Tsipras’ programmatic statement to Greece’s Parliament, the Greek government also committed to working in close agreement with European partners and institutions, as well as with the International Monetary Fund, and take actions that strengthen fiscal sustainability, guarantee financial stability and promote economic recovery. The first comprehensive list of reform measures follows below, as envisaged by the Greek government. It is our intention to implement them while drawing upon available technical assistance and financing from the European Structural and Investment Funds.

Yanis Varoufakis
Minister of Finance
Hellenic Republic

I. Fiscal structural policies

Tax policies – Greece commits to:Anmerkung: Wie im ganzen Dokument finden sich hier richtige Ansätze – aber vieles bleibt vage. Am Deutschen Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung lobt der Ökonom Alexander Kritikos, dass Griechenland die Einnahmen aus der Umsatzsteuer (englisch: „VAT“) erhöhen will. „Was auf der Steuereinnahmenseite aber noch nicht eindeutig geklärt ist, ist die Verbesserung der Einkommensbesteuerung in den freien Berufen (Rechtsanwälte, Ärzte, Ingeneure etc.). Eventuell ist das aber mit „modernising the tax income code“ gemeint?“ Zudem fehlt ihm konkretes darüber, wie Griechenland das alles verwirklichen will. „Der Verweis auf 'technological innovations' macht noch nicht ausreichend klar, wie die Steuereinnahmen tatsächlich erhöht werden sollen.“

Reform VAT policy, administration and enforcement. Robust efforts will be made to improve collection and fight evasion making full use of electronic means and other technological innovations. VAT policy will be rationalised in relation to rates that will be streamlined in a manner that. maximises actual revenues without a negative impact on social justice, and with a view to limiting exemptions while eliminating unreasonable discounts.

Modify the taxation of collective investment and income tax expenditures which will be integrated in the income tax code.

Broaden definition of tax fraud and evasion while disbanding tax immunity.

Modernising the income tax code and eliminating from it tax code exemptions and replacing them, when necessary, with social justice enhancing measures.

Resolutely enforce and improve legislation on transfer pricing.

Work toward creating a new culture of tax compliance to ensure that all sections of society, and especially the well-off, contribute fairly to the financing of public policies. In this context, establish with the assistance of European and international partners, a wealth database that assists the tax authorities in gauging the veracity of previous income tax returns.

Public Finance Management – Greece will:

Adopt amendments to the Organic Budget Law and take steps to improve pubpc finance management. Budget implementation will be improved and clarified as will control and reporting responsibipties. Payment procedures will be modernised and accelerated while providing a higher degree of financial and budgetary flexibipty and accountabipty for independent and/or regulatory entities.

Devise and implement a strategy on the clearance of arrears, tax refunds and pension claims.

Turn the already estabpshed (though hitherto dormant) Fiscal Council into a fully operational entity.

Revenue administration – Greece will modernise the tax and custom administrations benefiting from available technical assistance. To this end Greece will:Anmerkung: Um die Steuerfahnder gab es zuletzt Streit, Anschuldigungen wegen mangelnder Handlungsfreiheit und einen Rücktritt an der Spitze. Die Regierung Tsipras will nun ihre Versprechen schärferer Kontrollen mit Unabhängigkeit für die Steuerbehörde erreichen.

Enhance the openness, transparency and international reach of the process by which the General Secretary of the General Secretariat of Pubpc Revenues is appointed, monitored in terms of performance, and replaced.

Strengthen the independence of the General Secretariat of Pubpc Revenues (GSPR), if necessary through further legislation, from all sorts of interference (poptical or otherwise) while guaranteeing full accountabipty and transparency of its operations. To this end, the government and the GSPR will make full use of available technical assistance.

Staff adequately, both quantitatively and quaptatively, the GSPR and in particular the high wealth and large debtors units of the revenue administration and ensure that it has strong investigative/prosecution powers, and resources building on SDOE’s capacities, so as to target effectively tax fraud by, and tax arrears of, high income social groups. Consider the merits of integrating SDOE into GSPR.

Augment inspections, risk-based audits, and collection capacities while seeking to integrate the functions of revenue and social security collection across the general government.

Public spending – The Greek authorities will:Anmerkung: Die Buchhaltung des griechischen Staates zu einer selbständigen, von der Politik unabhängigen Behörde zu machen, wäre hilfreich für die Glaubwürdigkeit von Syriza. Fraglich bleibt, ob die Kassenwarte tatsächlich die Freiheit erhalten, sich bei klammen Kassen gegenüber einer ausgabenfreudigen Regierung zu behaupten. DIW-Ökonom Alexander Kritikos fehlt hier ein Punkt: „Welche Ansätze möchte diese Regierung verfolgen, um Wirtschaftswachstum im Sinne effizienter genutzter öffentlicher Investitionen in Forschung und Entwicklung zu fördern?“

Review and control spending in every area of government spending (e.g. education, defence, transport, local government, social benefits)

Work toward drastically improving the efficiency of central and local government administered departments and units by targeting budgetary processes, management restructuring, and reallocation of poorly deployed resources.

Identify cost saving measures through a thorough spending review of every Ministry and rationalisation of non-salary and non-pension expenditures which, at present, account for an astounding 56% of total public expenditure.

Implement legislation (currently in draft form at the General Accounts Office - GAO) to review non-wage benefits expenditure across the public sector.

Validate benefits through cross checks within the relevant authorities and registries (e.g. Tax Number Registry, AMKA registry) that will help identify non-eligible beneficiaries.

Control health expenditure and improve the provision and quality of medical services, while granting universal access. In this context, the government intends to table specific proposals in collaboration with European and international institutions, including the OECD.

Social security reform – Greece is committed to continue modernising the pension system. The authorities will:Anmerkung: Alleine die Vereinheitlichung von Rentenfonds für verschiedene Berufsstände war bisher undenkbar, wegen des Widerstands diverser Kasten, Seilschaften und Klientel. Doch Syriza hat andere Wähler und will darauf keine Rücksicht nehmen.

Continue to work on administrative measures to unify and streamline pension policies and eliminate loopholes and incentives that give rise to an excessive rate of early retirements throughout the economy and, more specifically, in the banking and public sectors.

Consolidate pension funds to achieve savings.

Phase out charges on behalf of ‘third parties’ (nuisance charges) in a fiscally neutral manner.

Establish a closer link between pension contributions and income, streamline benefits, strengthen incentives to declare paid work, and provide targeted assistance to employees between 50 and 65, including through a Guaranteed Basic Income scheme, so as to eliminate the social and political pressure for early retirement which over-burdens the pension funds.

Public administration & corruption – Greece wants a modern public administration. It will:Anmerkung: Hierzu DIW-Ökonom Alexander Kritikos: „Es ist begrüßenswert, Korruption zu bekämpfen. Aber es gibt drei Wege zur Bekämpfung. Mit ,moralischer Ansprache‘: Das bring nichts. Mit der Polizei: Das funktioniert nicht und führt nur in den Überwachungs- und Spitzelstaat. Und mit starker Deregulierung, so dass nur noch wenig Anlass für Korruption im Alltag gegeben ist. Die griechische Regierung bleibt aber vage. Und hier ist das größte Risiko: Wenn man anfängt, mit Überwachung Korruption zu bekämpfen, aber nicht massiv dereguliert, dann fährt die griechische Wirtschaft völlig an die Wand: Wenn Unternehmen die unsinnigen Verfahren und Vorschriften nicht mehr beschleunigen oder umgehen können, gehen sie einfach aus Griechenland raus oder werden eben noch viel ineffizienter.“

Turn the fight against corruption into a national priority and operationalize fully the National Plan Against Corruption.

Target fuel and tobacco products’ smuggling, monitor prices of imported goods (to prevent revenue losses during the importation process), and tackle money laundering. The government intends immediately to set itself ambitious revenue targets, in these areas, to be pursued under the coordination of the newly established position of Minister of State.

Reduce (a) the number of Ministries (from 16 to 10), (b) the number of ’special advisors’ in general government; and (c) fringe benefits of ministers, Members of Parliament and top officials (e.g. cars, travel expenses, allowances)

Tighten the legislation concerning the funding of political parties and include maximum levels of borrowing from financial and other institutions.

Activate immediately the current (though dormant) legislation that regulates the revenues of media (press and electronic), ensuring (through appropriately designed auctions) that they pay the state market prices for frequencies used, and prohibits the continued operation of permanently loss-making media outlets (without a transparent process of recapitalisation)Anmerkung: Die Medien waren bisher vielfach begünstigt, mit Zuschüssen, aber auch durch Fernsehfrequenzen für Privatsender in der Hand politischer Günstlinge und Lobbyisten mit breiten unternehmerischen Interessen. Syriza will nun versteckte Subventionen abschaffen und für Frequenzen kassieren und damit die Medienfreunde der politischen Gegner bestrafen, zudem Freiraum schaffen für die eigenen Verbündeten.

Establish a transparent, electronic, real time institutional framework for public tenders/procurement – re-establishing DIAVGEIA (a side-lined online public registry of activities relating to public procurement)

Reform the public sector wage grid with a view to decompressing the wage distribution through productivity gains and appropriate recruitment policies without reducing the current wage floors but safeguarding that the public sector’s wage bill will not increase

Rationalise non-wage benefits, to reduce overall expenditure, without imperilling the functioning of the public sector and in accordance with EU good practices

Promote measures to: improve recruitment mechanisms, encourage merit-based managerial appointments, base staff appraisals on genuine evaluation, and establish fair processes for maximising mobility of human and other resources within the public sector

II. Financial stability Instalment schemes – Greece commits to

Improve swiftly, in agreement with the institutions, the legislation for repayments of tax and social security arrears

Calibrate instalment schemes in a manner that helps discriminate efficiently between: (a) strategic default/non-payment and (b) inability to pay; targeting case (a) individuals/firms by means of civil and criminal procedures (especially amongst high income groups) while offering case (b) individuals/firms repayment terms in a manner that enables potentially solvent enterprises to survive, averts free-riding, annuls moral hazard, and reinforces social responsibility as well as a proper re-payment culture.

De-criminalise lower income debtors with small liabilities

Step up enforcement methods and procedures, including the legal framework for collecting unpaid taxes and effectively implement collection tools

Banking and Non-Performing loans – Greece is committed to:

Banks that are run on sound commercial/banking principles

Utilise fully the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund and ensure, in collaboration with the SSM, the ECB and the European Commission, that it plays well its key role of securing the banking sector’s stability and its lending on commercial basis while complying with EU competition rules.

Dealing with non-performing loans in a manner that considers fully the banks’ capitalisation (taking into account the adopted Code of Conduct for Banks), the functioning of the judiciary system, the state of the real estate market, social justice issues, and any adverse impact on the government’s fiscal position.

Collaborating with the banks’ management and the institutions to avoid, in the forthcoming period, auctions of the main residence of households below a certain income threshold, while punishing strategic defaulters, with a view to: (a) maintaining society’s support for the government’s broad reform program, (b) preventing a further fall in real estate asset prices (that would have an adverse effect on the banks’ own portfolio), (c) minimising the fiscal impact of greater homelessness, and (d) promoting a strong payment culture. Measures will be taken to support the most vulnerable households who are unable to service their loansAnmerkung: Diese Idee hält DIW-Ökonom Alexander Kritikos für „absolut nicht umsetzbar“. Er sagt: „Niemand ist in der Lage, das nach objektiven Kriterien zu entscheiden und hier droht ziemliche Willkür!“

Align the out-of-court workout law with the instalment schemes after their amendment, to limit risks to public finances and the payment culture, while facilitating private debt restructuring.

Modernise bankruptcy law and address the backlog of cases

III. Policies to promote growth Privatisation and public asset management – To attract investment in key sectors and utilise the state’s assets efficiently, the Greek authorities will:

Commit not to roll back privatisations that have been completed. Where the tender process has been launched the government will respect the process, according to the law. Anmerkung: Gerettet wurden die bisherigen Privatisierungen. Die sind ebenso anerkannt wie die Vorhaben, für die bereits ein Bieterverfahren begonnen wurde. Das betrifft offenbar auch den Hafen von Piräus, für den die chinesischen Hafenbetreiber von Cosco bieten wollten.

Safeguard the provision of basic public goods and services by privatised firms/industries in line with national policy goals and in compliance with EU legislation.

Review privatisations that have not yet been launched, with a view to improving the terms so as to maximise the state’s long term benefits, generate revenues, enhance competition in the local economies, promote national economic recovery, and stimulate long term growth prospects.

Adopt, henceforth, an approach whereby each new case will be examined separately and on its merits, with an emphasis on long leases, joint ventures (private-public collaboration) and contracts that maximise not only government revenues but also prospective levels of private investment. Unify (HRDAF) with various public asset management agencies (which are currently scattered across the public sector) with a view to developing state assets and enhancing their value through microeconomic and property rights’ reforms. Anmerkung: Hier allerdings ist die Rhetorik doppeldeutig: Privatisierungsprojekte, die noch nicht gestartet wurden, sollen „neu bewertet“ werden, „mit dem Blick auf den langfristigen Nutzen für den Staat, möglichen Erlös für den Staat, Wettbewerb in der lokalen Wirtschaft, wirtschaftlicher Erholung des Landes und langfristigem Wachstum“. Finanzminister Giannis Varoufakis betont oft: Er hoffe, dass Griechenland bei einem langsameren Verkauf mehr Geld einnehme. DIW-Ökonom Kritikos plädiert für mehr Tempo. „Mit Privatisierung sollte man nicht zu sehr Einnahmen anstreben, sondern die Erhöhung knappe Ressourcen effizienter nutzen, und das spricht immer für eine schnelle Privatisierung.“

Labor market reforms – Greece commits to:Anmerkung: Alte ideologische Ziele der Linksbewegung Syriza finden hier Einfallstore, etwa wenn davon die Rede ist, im Arbeitsrecht den besten Vorbildern in Europa zu folgen. Was die besten Vorbilder sind, wird womöglich noch umstritten bleiben. Denn die Linksregierung von Syriza will die links orientierte Arbeitsorganisation der Vereinten Nationen ILO in den Prozess einbinden und plant zugleich Konsultationen mit den rückwärtsgewandten und reformfeindlichen Gewerkschaften. Ein neuer „smarter“ Ansatz soll die nationalen Tarifverträge zurückbringen, die früher Griechenlands Wettbewerbsfähigkeit bremsten und zuletzt ausgehebelt

Achieve EU best practice across the range of labour market legislation through a process of consultation with the social partners while benefitting from the expertise and existing input of the ILO, the OECD and the available technical assistance.

Expand and develop the existing scheme that provides temporary employment for the unemployed, in agreement with partners and when fiscal space permits and improve the active labour market policy programmes with the aim to updating the skills of the long term unemployed.

Phasing in a new ‘smart’ approach to collective wage bargaining that balances the needs for flexibility with fairness. This includes the ambition to streamline and over time raise minimum wages in a manner that safeguards competiveness and employment prospects. The scope and timing of changes to the minimum wage will be made in consultation with social partners and the European and international institutions, including the ILO, and take full account of advice from a new independent body on whether changes in wages are in line with productivity developments and competitiveness.

Product market reforms and a better business environment – As part of a new reform agenda, Greece remains committed to:

Removing barriers to competition based on input from the OECD. Die Deregulierung kommt viel zu kurz, findet DIW-Ökonom Alexander Kritikos. Zwar lobt er, dass die OECD helfen soll – ein „sehr guter Partner“, findet er. „Aber die einzelnen Schritte bleiben völlig vage.“

Strengthen the Hellenic Competition Commission.

Introduce actions to reduce the burdens of administrative burden of bureaucracy in line with the OECD’s input, including legislation that bans public sector units from requesting (from citizens and business) documents certifying information that the state already possesses (within the same or some other unit).

Better land use management, including policies related to spatial planning, land use, and the finalisation of a proper Land RegistryAnmerkung: Die Einführung eines Grundstückskatasters in ganz Griechenland ist schon seit langer Zeit versprochen. Damit würde die Erhebung der Immobiliensteuer und der geplanten Vermögensteuer erleichtert. Doch dazu müsste die Verwaltung funktionieren und das ist wiederum fraglich bei einer Linksregierung, die den traditionellen Gewerkschaften des öffentlichen Dienstes alte Macht zurückgeben will.

Pursue efforts to lift disproportionate and unjustified restrictions in regulated professions as part of the overall strategy to tackle vested interests.Anmerkung: Für die Liberalisierung der freien Berufe, von Notaren bis zu den Schiffsagenten, hat die Troika schon einiges erreicht. Die neue Regierung verspricht noch mehr, schließlich ist sie auch nicht so sehr mit dieser Klientel verbunden wie die früheren Regierungsparteien.

Align gas and electricity market regulation with EU good practices and legislation

Reform of the judicial system – The Greek government will:

Improve the organisation of courts through greater specialisation and, in this context, adopt a new Code of Civil Procedure.

Promote the digitisation of legal codes and the electronic submission system, and governance, of the judicial system.

Statistics – The Greek government reaffirms its readiness to:

Honour fully the Commitment on Confidence in Statistics, and in particular the institutional independence of ELSTAT, ensuring that ELSTAT has the necessary resources to implement its work programme.

Guarantee the transparency and propriety of the process of appointment of the ELSTAT President in September 2015, in cooperation with EUROSTAT.

IV. Humanitarian Crisis – The Greek government affirms its plan to:Anmerkung: Hier kommen orogrammatische Akzente der Linksregierung von Syriza zum Tragen. Angekündigt werden Aktionen gegen absolute Armut, und zwar in Naturalien, etwa mit Essensmarken. Zugleich soll die Aktion für die Armen mit neuen Verwaltungsverfahren wie einer elektronischen Karte verbunden werden, die zum Bezahlen, als Personalausweis und als Gesundheitskarte dient. Kleine Häuslebauer, die ihre Hypotheken nicht mehr bezahlen können, sollen vor Versteigerungen ihrer Immobilien geschützt werden.

Address needs arising from the recent rise in absolute poverty (inadequate access to nourishment, shelter, health services and basic energy provision) by means of highly targeted non-pecuniary measures (e.g. food stamps).

Do so in a manner that is helpful to the reforming of public administration and the fight against bureaucracy/corruption (e.g. the issuance of a Citizen Smart Card that can be used as an ID card, in the Health System, as well as for gaining access to the food stamp program etc.).

Evaluate the pilot Minimum Guaranteed Income scheme with a view to extending it nationwide.

Ensure that its fight against the humanitarian crisis has no negative fiscal effect.

Mehr zum Thema:„Diese Vorschläge reichen nicht“

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Quelle: F.A.Z.

Veröffentlicht: 24.02.2015 17:32 Uhr