The shaping of the pre-electoral landscape concludes with the final pitch of the leaders of the two parties which theoretically and practically, have a claim to power on June 18. Under the circumstances, PASOK has to a large extent withdrawn from the battle for leadership and is reserving for itself –as expressed by the statements of its leader Evangelos Venizelos– a regulatory role. The same goes for the Democratic Left which has also stated its intention to participate in a coalition government.
The rupture between Samaras (leader of conservative New Democracy) and Tsipras (the leader of left wing SYRIZA) reached a climax with the presentation of their pre-electoral commitments on Thursday and Friday respectively, thus shaping a new polarization around the dilemmas which they put forward clearly: “Memorandum or Drachma” and “Memorandum or Syriza.”
What follows is a detailed juxtaposition, on a point by point basis, of these commitments.
The original post in Greek was posted by @galaxyarchis here. A French translation is available on Okeanews.
Antonis Samaras presented the policies that he will implement, if elected, in an “18-point program” which focuses attention not only on financial issues and the memorandum but gives importance to security and immigration issues. The program of New Democracy concentrates on three priorities:
2. Renegotiation of economic policy, so that it may change as part of a Europe that is also changing.
3. Justice and security, in order to restore social cohesion.
Similarly, Alexis Tsipras addressed a left-wing audience, focusing more on social justice and the democratization of public administration. In SYRIZA’s case too, there are three immediate goals:
1. Material relief for victims of the crisis and the memorandum policy
2. Stabilisation of the economy in order to prevent an even larger economic catastrophe
3. The establishment of a sense of security and hope, by limiting the widespread insecurity and promoting visible and positive economic and social aspirations and perspectives.
- Renegotiation of economic policy
- Remaining in the euro under circumstances which will enable survival and development
- Immediate cancellation of the Memorandum and its implementation laws
- Replacement of the Memorandum with a National Scheme for Recovery and economic reconstruction
- Extension of the program of upcoming public spending cuts by 11.7 billion euros until at least 2016
- Cutting spending resulting from wastefulness and corruption, not expenditures for wages and pensions
- Search for a common European solution for the accumulated debt and for development
- Renegotiating the repayment of the debt, either through a moratorium until surpluses can be achieved, or by a generous haircut
- Growth clauses on the repayment of the debt
- Stabilization of primary spending at 43-46% of GDP (Eurozone-average) instead of the 36% determined in the Memorandum
- Review and reallocation of public spending
- Increase of public revenue to 45% of GDP (Eurozone average)
- Gradual increase of tax-free income from 5.000 euros to the previous limit of 8.000 euros as soon as revenue flow has been restored
- Replacing of extraordinary taxes by an expanded and more fair property tax (ΕΤΑΚ).
- Immediate reduction of the tax rate for legal persons to 15%
- Immediate reduction of VAT on food-services to 9%
- Gradual reduction of the highest tax rate for individuals to 32 %
- Gradual reduction of VAT rates to 19%, 9% and 5%
- Refund of money owed by the State to the private sector (aproximately 4,5 billion in 2012)
- Offsetting debts to and from the State, in order to release liquidity into the market
- Calculating maximum tax burden deriving from extraordinary contributions of previous years so that it doesn’t exceed 25% of income (gradual repayment for the rest over the following years)
- Abolition of extraordinary taxes for lower-middle class incomes and vulnerable social groups (unemployed, low pensioners, below-poverty-line incomes)
- Radical reform of the taxation system aimed at development-oriented redistribution of wealth
- Increase in the direct taxation of wealth, aimed at an increase of revenues 1% of GDP annually, for 4 years
- Changing tax rates and brackets to average European levels
- Review of tax exemptions and special tax regimes
- Review of indirect taxes (VAT) on priced foods (bread, milk etc.), the catering industry and tourism.
- A National Programmatic Agreement with the Maritime and shipping sectors in order to increase tax revenues
- Confiscation of property in case of false statements, after establishment of a property register
- Signing of a bilateral agreement with Switzerland on the taxation of deposits
- Re-increase of very low salaries to 2009 levels
- Immediate reestablishment of special payrolls for police officers and Air Force operators
- Extension of unemployment benefits for an additional year, to two years
- Special unemployment benefit for non-wage earners (self-employed, shop owners) through European funds.
- Freezing salary reductions in the private sector.
- Postponement of the deadline to replace sector-based collective labour agreements by the standard agreement of the General Confederation of Workers by six months
- Three-year special status for surplus Public Sector workforce, instead of layoffs.
- Immediate cancellation of the laws reducing salaries, benefits and replacement of collective labour agreements.
- Re-increasing the minimum wage to 751 euros per month
- Re-increasing unemployment benefits to 461 euros and extending it to two years
PRODUCTION – NATIONAL ECONOMYNew Democracy
- Immediate legislative initiatives for the release of state-owned real estate property
- Promotion of privatizations beyond what is expected in the Memorandum
- Recovery of damages incurred by natural persons (bondholders) and social security funds due to the debt haircut
- Funding of the economy with a “special liquidity tool” through the European Investment Bank and unspent funds from the National Strategic Reference Framework
- Special liquidity program for lower-middle companies
- Redesigning the National Strategic Reference Framework with a European investment program for managing the recession
- Creation of a Treasury of National Wealth and Social Security through the exploitation of mineral wealth and hydrocarbons
- Regulation of farm debt and funding connected with actual farm production (instituting a “farmer’s card”)
- Nationalization and socialization of banks which are funded by the Financial Stability Fund
- Freezing of privatizations of Public Organizations of strategic importance and return under public control of all those that have been privatized
- Development of the so-called third sector of the socialized economy and self-management
- Suspension of the consequences of enrollment in Teiresias for those who enrolled in the past two years
- Regulation of repayment of household debts to banks with a monthly limit of 30% of income, under which the unemployed would be repaying only interest for 2 to 3 years
- Exposing “hoodies” and crushing organized crime and “petty crime”
- Cancellation of dividing lines which ND is trying to revive and reclaiming of national dignity
- Partial or whole debt relief for exceedingly indebted households and exceedingly indebted businesses
- Reestablishment of the right to secure employment with fair compensation and dignified living standards
- Containment of humanitarian crisis
FOREIGN POLICYNew Democracy
- Speeding up the unilateral proclamation and demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zone
- Development of a pacifist foreign policy in line with international law
- Demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zone after bilateral agreements with interested neighboring countries
- Moratorium of competition with Turkey and promotion together with Cyprus of the European perspective of our neighbor, only following mutual actions
- Compound name with a geographical qualifier for all uses for FYROM
IMMIGRATION POLICYNew Democracy
- Halting migration through better guarding of borders and mass repatriation with joint European policy
- Removal of “illegal immigrants” from urban centers and crushing of illegal trade
- Negotiation of a new European Framework on Immigration Policy, with fair distribution of burden among member countries
- Gradual issuance of travel documents to those immigrants who want to depart
- Streamlining of legal framework for immigrants who live and work in the country
- Combating human trafficking and forms of slavery
SYRIZA: Consolidation and democratization of the StateBeyond immediate comparative elements of the electoral campaign commitments of New Democracy and SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras dedicated a large part of his speech to the consolidation of public administration and the governing model he intends to follow. More specifically, the following points were made:
- Small, flexible cabinet
- Democratization and reorganization of public administration
- Cancellation of “armies” of advisors and directors in Public Utility Organizations
- Creation of a Central Authority of State Procurements
- Expansion of Transparency and Openness Policies, electronic administration and electronic prescription systems and cost control mechanisms
- Modernization and staffing of tax offices with qualified personnel in order to strengthen control and cross-verification mechanisms
- Establishment of rules for the management of public television frequencies and of the operation of private media
- Change of law regarding liability of ministers, and securing equality before the law for all.
- Introduction of proportional representation.