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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Main opposition says gov't lying over budget

  • [01] Main opposition says gov't lying over budget

    The main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) on Wednesday accused the government of lying about the 2006 budget, which was passed by parliament last last month.

    "The budget that (Finance Minister) George Alogoskoufis gave to parliament backed by the premier, his ministers and the (ruling) New Democracy party's parliamentary group will not be implemented. They all told lies to parliament and to the Greek public because they knew it could not be implemented," PASOK spokesman Nikos Athanassakis said.

    " It only needed 10 days for forecasts made by (PASOK leader) George Papandreou during the budget debate to be confirmed ," Athanassakis stated.

    He also accused Alogoskoufis of falsifying targets for budgetary revenue in 2005.

    "In the 2005 budget, the forecast for revenue growth was 7.2%. In March, under the growth and stability plan the government gave to the EU, the target was revised upwards to 10.2%," Athanassakis said.

    "The government then revised the target down to 5.0% due to severly lagging revenue. It is now celebrating revenue growth of 6.3%," he noted.

    On Tuesday, the finance ministry reported that overall budgetary revenue rose sharply by 14.6% in December, growing by 6.3% in 2005 in comparison with a year earlier and higher than an annual target of 5.0%. Contributing to December's surge was a 13.5% rise in revenue from Value Added Tax versus the same month a year earlier, with total revenue from tax offices in that month up 18.7%, and from customs up 10.2%.

    In addition, the government had raised Value Added Tax to 19.0% from 18.0% in order to meet the 5.0% target.

    Government lashes back

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos later issued a statement saying that it was common knowledge that PASOK had produced fake budgets, which had been confirmed by the European Union.

    The former PASOK government had also lied to the public on the real state of the economy, Roussopoulos noted.

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