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"A few things that SYRIZA did and the struggles that lie before us"

18.09.2015

We started the implementation of the first pillar of our Program for the confrontation of the humanitarian crisis. In this context, with our first law we have already:

- Provided free electricity for 212,216 eligible individuals

- Issued food vouchers for 349,826 eligible individuals

- Implemented an accommodation program with rent subsidy for 30,575 families

- Provided free health care for all the unemployed.

- Abolished the 5 euro charge in all hospitals As far as the second pillar of our program is concerned, because of the adverse economic conditions and the orchestrated asphyxiation we have not been able to apply the necessary tax reliefs in favor of the working classes and small and medium-sized businesses, but we took certain relief measures, often in intense conflict with the institutions.

- We have implemented our commitment for a 100-instalment payment plan for tax and social security debts, at the same time issuing tax and social security clearance certificates for those who entered the plan. This plan has been used by more than 750,000 individuals and companies.

We have also passed the Second Chance Act, full tax relief for honest bankrupt persons; which Europe had insisted on for years but previous governments never did. Now thousands of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and professionals who went bankrupt honestly will be given the chance to start up a new business without the burden of debts, to support their families again, to contribute to the Greek economy again, to stand up again.

In the field of labor reinforcement and protection, we have already abolished the antidemocratic law of civil mobilization and we restructured voucher programs so that the participants, the unemployed, will be the ones to benefit from them instead of the employers and the well connected owners of the private training centers. We increased the number of the unemployed who participate and the sums they receive from 25-40% to 60-75% of the total funds.

100,000 unemployed people are today already taking part in subsidized programs and in the next two months this number will go up to 120,000. By February 2016 (that is, in less than a year) these positions will have gone up to 212,000 approximately.

At the same time, we are planning 150,000 new temporary (8-month) jobs for 2016.

In the fields of the democratization of public administration, the strengthening of the welfare state and the combating of corruption and tax evasion, in only six months we have done more than was done in five years.

For instance:

- We passed a law for the democratization of public administration, the abolition of labor reserve and the reshaping of mobility.

- We opened ERT [Greek public radio-television], which is being transformed into a competitive and objective broadcaster in information and entertainment embraced by the viewers, without needing to increase its fees.

- We reopened big cases of tax evasion and corruption while we have already initiated a comparative analysis of bank accounts of over 300,000 euros in relation to declared incomes over the last decade in order to trace untaxed amounts.

- We reemployed those who had been unconstitutionally laid off, making a step towards the restoration of justice in a damaged and discredited public sector.

- We launched the procedures to hire 3,500 healthcare and medical staff in order to reinforce the health system.

- We gave the TV broadcast licenses bill to public consultation proving our will to battle with the forces of collusion and cronyism.

- We charged all the so far uncollected debts of the television broadcasters. None of the above took place in normal or regular conditions. On the contrary, they were implemented in a period characterized predominantly by the harsh and persistent negotiation with the lenders in an environment of deliberate financial asphyxiation.

Concerning the Agreement, very significant open issues remain, around which we will focus our efforts in the negotiations ahead of us.

The first and foremost battle is the restructuring of the debt. This issue, after our persistence in the negotiations, is at last put in its true perspective as a supranational economic and political problem since both the return of the Greek economy to growth and the foundation of a new financial architecture for the whole of Europe depend on its solution.

The second important issue the next government will have to deal with is that of the management of “red” loans. It is a colossal problem on whose solution liquidity provision to the real economy is dependent on.

SYRIZA is ready to implement immediate measures to handle the problem, at the same time protecting the first residence of those who are demonstrably unable to serve their debts.

In the context of the open negotiation, we will table –and insist on the implementation of– our proposal for the creation of a body that will mediate between the banks involved and the debtors.

The main points in this proposal are:

- Prompt implementation of the “Katseli law”.

- Enforcement of the law for the heavily indebted small and medium-sized businesses.

- Changes to the Code of Conduct for Banks and activa tion of the institution of the informed borrower.

The third open issue in the Agreement is the setting up of the new Fund for the utilization of the state property: the institutional framework that will govern the Fund and the sound management of its assets are critical issues.

The fourth field of negotiation is the critical and central for SYRIZA issue of labor relations and collective bargaining.

In this context our government will proceed to:

(1) start a dialogue under the supervision of the International Labor Organization so that a framework is adopted for collective bargaining, trade union action, and protection against collective redundancies

(2) upgrade and re-staff the Labor Inspection Corps with the aim of efficiently combating undeclared work

(3) fully apply the interconnection of the Labor Ministry’s information systems for monitoring labor law

Finally, during the tough negotiations but also in the final text of the Agreement we managed to repel the intentions of the lenders and of domestic interests to privatize ADMIE [Independent Power Transmission Operator] and “small” DEI [Public Power Corporation] but this was certainly not the end of it.

All of the above stand as proof that things were won and can still be won, even though many try hard to prove that it is impossible.The aim of SYRIZA is to implement a four-year government program to disengage from neoliberalism and austerity, to initiate a radical democratic transformation of the state, while finding solutions to mitigate the effects of the Agreement; to implement policies supporting the social majority and constantly shifting the power ratio in favor of the forces of labor.

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