• Photos from Greece

    Events of Press Office

    Click to go to Events of Press Offce site















  • Advertisements

Tax and spending policy

» PM: Tackling Economic Woes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou chaired a Cabinet meeting that discussed the draft tax bill and public-sector incomes policy.
He said that the government’s efforts to tackle the country’s economic problems will focus on three axes: reducing public debt, promoting growth, and accelerating legislative and institutional measures.
Papandreou stressed that the government’s primary duty was to save the economy, striving for fair solutions that would protect the lower and middle classes as much as possible.

» FinMin: New Tax Rates

A range of public spending cuts and tax adjustments were presented by the government yesterday, following an announcement last week by the premier that drastic measures would be taken to prevent Greece from defaulting.
Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou unveiled more specific policies, which included plans to cut the salaries of the premier and his ministers, a moratorium on hiring in the public sector this year – excluding however health services –  as well as changes to the tax system, which will now contain more tax brackets and will lead to higher earners paying more.

Advertisements

The “Economist” Conference

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A much timely “Economist” Conference was addressed yesterday by the country’s leadership and experts from the financial and business world.

Taking the floor, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou availed himself of the opportunity to note that Greece’s fiscal problems are also an issue for the entire eurozone and marked that a spill-over effect will not leave other eurozone countries unaffected, especially those which are as vulnerable as Greece.
The remarks were reported one day before the European Commission announces its recommendations on the country’s stability programme , which is most likely to receive European approval.   

» “Deficit Fetishism is a Mistake”
Addressing the Conference (Discussion and Debate with Joseph Stiglitz on the World Economy 2010), Nobel Economics Laureate 2001, former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, and Professor at Columbia University Joseph Stiglitz, dismissed fears that Greece will go bankrupt, adding that, when struggling with recession, governments ought to be careful with their rectifying measures.
“Cutting deficits in the wrong way can be counterproductive.”
Kathimerini daily: Greek woes are a eurozone issue

The Stability Programme was submitted

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The cabinet met yesterday  to approve the updated Stability and Growth Programme (SGP) 2008-2011, which was submitted today (15.1) to the European Commission in Brussels.

“We will achieve fiscal consolidation within three years. […] We can do it; this target is feasible,” said Prime Minister George Papandreou.
The premier added that the Stability and Growth Programme does not contain immediate fiscal adjustment measures only, but also a substantial part of the plan for the restructuring of the country.
On his part, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou stressed that the deficit would definitely be cut, as Greece’s economy is expected to expand in the coming next years.
“The Programme was prepared with the decisive involvement of all ministries and it will be implemented through team-work,” said Papaconstantinou.
Kathimerini Daily: Cabinet stands by recovery plan; Ministry of Economy and Finance: Update of the Hellenic Stability and Growth Programme 2008-2011

Finance Minister Interview in “Der Spiegel”

 
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)      Greece has no current need for credit and the excessive pessimism of the financial markets is unjustified, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told German weekly Der Spiegel, in an interview.
He added that while Greek spreads had soared this week, they would narrow once again, when Greece had proven that it was doing all it could, to improve the country’s financial situation.
“We are in a very serious fiscal situation, we have debts with a dangerous dynamic,” said the minister. “But we have a new government that clearly recognizes the problem. With our savings programme, we will reduce the deficit in the coming year by 3.6 percentage points.”
Papaconstantinou further said that there was no reason for Greece to ask for help from the International Monetary Fund. Instead, it would solve its problems inside the European Union and according to the bloc’s rules. Greece would release a new bond at the beginning of January, he concluded. 
On Friday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said Greece would meet its debt obligations and planned to reduce its budget deficit to below 3 percent of GDP within four years, sending bond yields lower. Today, the premier is expected to announce the measures, his government plans to implement, following talks with representatives of labour unions and business groups.
Foreign and Currency News: Greece has no urgent credit need – Greek Finmin 

Finance Minister on Greek Economy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The new government “will do what is required to be consistent with the need for a medium-term reduction of the budget deficit,” Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou stated, after a downgrade in Greece’s credit rating by Fitch rating agency.
He also dubbed unrealistic the scenario of Greece resorting to the assistance of the International Monetary Fund.

Giving an interview about the issue yesterday on CNN , Papaconstantinou stressed that “the government is putting together very quickly a number of initiatives and measures to reassure the markets and our European partners that we are serious about reducing the deficit […].”
“There is a movement on all reforms fronts,” something that will restore Greece’s credibility.
Kathimerini daily: Fitch rating downgrade upsets markets

Eurozone Focuses on Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Greece has failed to take the necessary measures to cut its fiscal deficit, according to the directions offered last spring by the EU Council, the European Commission (EC) announced on Wednesday, before recommending that the country be placed under excessive deficit procedure of Article 104(8) of the Treaty of Maastricht.

Responding to this, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said that the government is determined to restore the credibility of its macro-economic statistics and reduce its large fiscal deficit.In its autumn forecasts, released last week, the EC sees Greece’s budget deficit remaining above 12% of GDP through 2011 – at 12.2% in 2010 and 12.8% in 2011. “We do not share the EC’s projections that see the deficit over 12% in the coming years. This projection was made without taking into account the change in policy,” said Papaconstantinou, who believes he can lower the budget deficit to below 10% next year. “We are changing policy and this will be reflected in the next budgets,” he said.
Kathimerini daily:Eurozone concerned about Greece