Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday chaired a cabinet meeting that focused chiefly on a planned reorganisation of the state sector, which includes the merger and abolition of various public-sector agencies and the founding of new organisations.
Sources said that the meeting did not go into the details of the reorganisation, which are to be discussed in subsequent meetings between Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and each minister involved. The government's aim is to avoid lay-offs as a result of the changes but the issue was not raised during the meeting since talks between Venizelos and ministers were still pending. The sources said that announcements concerning this issue will be made by August 5.
The meeting also discussed the European Commission's decision to set up a working team to provide technical assistance to Greece in accelerating absorption of Community funds from the NSRF.
On the issue of privatisations, it was confirmed that these will go ahead and that there will be a special session of the cabinet with a briefing by Venizelos on the conditions for privatisations.
Concerning the state broadcasting organisation ERT, announcements concerning its restructuring that will also concern the entire media sector are to be made by the appropriate minister on August 15, with sources stressing that ERT's permanent staff will not be affected.
Before chairing the cabinet meeting, Papandreou had also chaired a meeting of the government's financial team on speeding up collection of taxes and a reorganisation of tax offices and tax systems.

PM Papandreou in Arta on Friday

Prime Minister George Papandreou will be in the city of Arta, north-western Greece, on Friday, it was announced on Thursday.
The premier will chair a meeting of representatives of local agencies.