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Factbox: Where Greece has fallen behind bailout pledges
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's government has pledged to win back Europe's trust by stepping up reforms and pushing through austerity cuts promised in return for a bailout that spared the country from bankruptcy.
Below are some areas in which Athens has strayed from its obligations and where the new government has made effort to make up some lost ground:
- Greece was to identify by June budget cuts worth nearly 12 billion euros for 2013-2014. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has worked out a draft austerity package that mainly involves cuts in pensions and public sector wages. The coalition's party leaders have broadly agreed on it but are still hammering out details to spare low-income earners and pensioners.
- In the first seven months of the year, net tax revenues were 2.8 billion euros below target. Recession may exceed 7 percent this year, according to government forecasts, far deeper than a 4.7 percent estimate given in March, so Athens will likely miss a goal to cut its budget deficit to 7.3 percent of GDP this year from 9.3 percent in 2011, requiring even deeper cuts to meet deficit targets for the following two years.
- The head of Greece's privatization agency Costas Mitropoulos resigned in July, saying Athens would raise about 300 million euros from asset sales this year, far below an original target of more than 3 billion. It raised almost 1.6 billion euros by selling state assets and licenses in 2011, again below targets.
The government admitted privatizations were 7-12 months behind schedule. It has appointed a new leadership team at the privatization agency, vowed to speed up the asset sales program and said it would make its first, significant privatization this autumn.
- Tax reforms have been repeatedly postponed, first from September 2011 to March 2012 and then beyond the summer. A comprehensive tax reform bill is to pass parliament by the end of this year.
- Progress in modernizing tax administration and expenditure control, for instance by establishing a single authority for public procurement, has been slow and patchy. Steps against tax evasion and the prompt settlement of nearly 7 billion euros of arrears the state owes to private suppliers are behind schedule.
- The capital needs of Greece's illiquid banks were supposed to have been assessed by February 2012. The previous government had committed to take a decision regarding insolvent state lender ATEbank by March 2012.
At the end of July, the new government wound down ATEbank, transferring its healthy assets to local rival Piraeus Bank. Stournaras last week also effectively paved the way for the sale of another struggling lender, Hellenic Postbank. The exact terms for the recapitalization of Greece's solvent banks will be finalized by end-September, he added.
- Fifteen ministries should have been restructured by the summer to make the government leaner and more efficient. The new leadership said in late July it was merging 21 different state organizations. Hundreds more are expected to follow, along with an evaluation of public sector staff.
- By the end of 2011, about 15,000 public sector staff were to have been transferred into a labor reserve, an ante-chamber for dismissals. Just 630 employees were put in the reserve. The new government initially said it would not fire any workers.
Samaras has re-introduced the labor reserve plan as part of the austerity package, though details remain sketchy.
- Athens had missed deadlines to lower the benefits awarded by some deficit-making state-run pension funds. The government said in July it would cut the lump-sum payments some pensioners get upon retirement by about 20 percent.
- Despite some progress, several professions that were supposed to have been opened up to boost private sector employment, such as pharmacists and taxi drivers, have been liberalized partly or on paper only.
- Greece missed a March deadline to liberalize the electricity sector. Private power firms still have no access to the coal deposits and hydro capacity of state-run utility PPC.
($1 = 0.8170 euros)
(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Will Waterman)
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