PM outlines priorities and deadlines in letters to ministers

In letters sent to all government ministers on Wednesday, Prime Minister George Papandreou outlined both the priorities and deadlines that he intends them to work to until the end of August. The prime minister had also outlined his plans for each ministry during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, urging his government to pick up the pace in passing and implementing essential reforms.
The priority issues unveiled by Papandreou for each ministry were as follows:

- Administrative Reform and e-Governance
1. Finalising the uniform pay scale and ranking system for civil servants, including the new assessment and promotions system, to be worked out with the finance ministry.
2. A plan for the merger of state-sector agencies and entities
3. Reforming the operation of the National Centre for Public Administration.

- Interior
1. New legislation governing the holding of referendums
2. Changes to the system for declaring means and assets
3. The local authorities' overhaul plan

- Finance
1. Preparing the government's positions for a national dialogue on a new taxation system
2. An action plan for tackling overdue debts to the state
3. Plans for a radical overhaul of tax collection mechanisms, including recourse to outsourcing
4. Action plan for eliminating trade in contraband fuel

- Development, Competitiveness and Shipping
1. Plan to accelerate and change NSRF financing, based on the negotiations underway with the EU
2. Preparation of a draft bill to remove obstacles to enterprise
3. Shipping policy (in collaboration with the defence ministry)

- Environment, Energy and Climate Change
1. Accelerating the issue of licences, especially for Renewable Energy Source investments) and a drastic reduction in the backlog of applications awaiting approval
2. Completing a draft law for changing environmental permit procedures
3. A final plan to regulate buildings lacking planning permission
4. A new plan for a landfill at Keratea

- Education, Life-long Learning and Religions
1. Completing tertiary education reforms
2. Planning for a smooth start of the new school year
3. Report on the pilot scheme introducing e-books in schools

- Infrastructure, Transport and Networks
1. Overcoming obstacles to the completion of five major highways
2. Implementing plans for reforming public transport agencies

- Labour and Social Insurance
1. Preparing a new comprehensive programme to combat unemployment and provide training/education of all types
2. Completing processes for e-prescription systems
3. Implementing plans to combat contribution evasion, especially for those owing large amounts
4. Effective screening of illegal migrants resident in Greece, in collaboration with the Citizen Protection, Interior and Health ministries

- Health and Social Solidarity
1. Promoting primary health care system reforms
2. Implementing the list of approved drugs and further reducing prices
3. Preparing a plan to increase the use of generic medication by hospitals
4. Finalising plans for hospital mergers
5. Action plan to reduce waiting lists at the OKANA drug rehab centres

- Agricultural Development and Foods
1. Plan to restructure farm production and change the farming balance of trade
2. Simplification of licence procedures for farming facilities
3. Methods to utilise agricultural land
4. Draw up plans for founding a farming executives school

- Justice
Prepare and table a bill for fast-track justice in major cases of public interest

- Citizen Protection
1. Implement a plan for the centre of Athens
2. Set up migrant reception centres
3. Effective screening of illegal migrants resident in Greece, in collaboration with the labour, Interior and health ministries.
4. Improving the operation of the asylum system.

- Culture and Tourism
1. Carrying out a plan for cleaning up Greek professional football
2. Examining the merits of modifying the law on sea cruises, in collaboration with the development ministry

- Ministry of State
1. Plan to restructure state radio and television broadcasting
2. Plan for a legal legal framework for the mass media.

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