Tuesday, October 22, 2013

EU Report Gives Greece Good Marks on Fixing Bureaucracy

by Stelios Bouras

Wall Street Journal

October 22, 2013

After years of foot dragging, Greece is finally making progress in fixing its dysfunctional tax service, overburdened judiciary and other parts of its broken bureaucracy, a European Union report said Tuesday. But more needs to be done to set the economy on a path toward growth.

The latest review, by the special task force for Greece at the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, provides Athens with a positive note just ahead of a visit next week by international budget inspectors.

Although the report is not a binding assessment for the inspectors, it is expected to play a role in their decision on whether Greece has done enough to receive its next slice of aid under its international bailout.

The report says that administrative reform has picked up pace since July, the last time inspectors were in town. It cites progress by Greece in conducting overdue individual assessments of the country's 700,000-odd public sector employees and moves to transfer some 25,000 of them into new jobs—both major demands of the inspectors.


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