Athens Digest 30.05.2019

• Parliament Budget Office: Measures won’t derail budget

Semester results to give Greece signal

Top court posts touch off party row

Athens next mayor confronts anarchists, supporters of the terrorist who killed his father


# Parliament’s budget office says benefits announced by the Tsipras government will not throw the country’s fiscal path off target. “The overall impact of the measures for 2019, according to the General Accounting Office reports, is close to 0.55 percent of GDP and can be covered by the projected fiscal space,” the report said. But it added: “In view of their permanent nature, their impact should be taken into account in the preparation of the medium-term program and the annual budgets to ensure the fiscal targets in the medium term.” The assessment follows concern publicly expressed by creditors that the handouts announced earlier his month could hurt the sustainability of Greece’s financial recovery.

# Reports in Greece have suggested that creditors may not publish the country’s third enhanced surveillance report due to the July 7 election. But according to our sources, the European Commission is backing its publication on June 5 along with EU-member country reports under the European Semester. In any case, the Commission’s updated forecasts for member states’ economies, including the Greek economy, will be announced normally _ and the institutions’ assessment of the expected impact of the recent social benefits package will be reflected for 2019 and 2020.

# Government officials insisted in their intend to appoint new leadership to Greece’s top courts ahead of the July 7 general election _ getting campaigning off to a bad-tempered start. New Democracy demanded that the scheduled appointments (current terms end on June 30) be delayed until after the vote, while the government said it was determined to follow the proper institutional procedure.



On our Radar: The Mayor’s Moment 
Kostas Bakoyannis, barring a major upset, will be the next mayor of Athens after winning 42.66 percent of the vote in the first round of municipal elections. He was confronted with a challenge, days before the runoff while eating at a restaurant in Petralona, central Athens. Anarchists gathered outside in protest, supporting terror group gunman Dimitris Koufodinas and asking Bakoyannis to leave the area. Bakoyannis was 11 years old when his father, Pavlos Bakoyannis, was shot dead in 1989 by Koufodinas and another gunman from the far-left terror group November 17. Bakoyannis refused to leave. “I asked ‘Koufofinas’ boys’ to join me to talk and have some wine instead. I don’t want to be like them. I owe it to my father’s memory,” he said. “They are the same people who are vandalizing Athens, they are drug traffickers themselves,” he added. Kostas Bakoyannis, former regional governor of Central Greece, is the son of former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis.