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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-01-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Othmar Karas postpones visit to Athens
  • [02] FinMin: Eurozone late diagnosing Greek problems
  • [03] State revenues exceed targets in November

  • [01] Othmar Karas postpones visit to Athens

    ANA-MPA -- European Parliament vice president Othmar Karas has postponed a visit to Athens originally scheduled for January 8-9, according to an announcement by the European Parliament. The chairman of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Policy Committee had led a EuroParliament inquiry into the actions of the troika and was due to visit Athens at the head of a delegation, as part of a fact-finding tour of EU member-states entering bailout programmes.

    Responding to the news, the main opposition SYRIZA party accused the government of engineering a delay of the visit "in panic", with the support of the European Parliament President Martin Schulz. According to SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis, the government "trembled" at the thought of a discussion on the aims and repercussions of the bailout memorandums and its own share of responsibility for "the adoption of a disastrous programme that plunged the country into a deep recession."

    Skourletis further accused Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of failing to use the visit to highlight the failure of austerity policies, "seeking instead to avoid discussion and preparing for the country's European presidency by organising fiestas for his self-promotion".

    The main opposition claim's were dismissed by government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou, who accused them of being "stuck on conspiracy theories and attempts to defamate the country" and of making "wild and outrageous allegations".

    [02] FinMin: Eurozone late diagnosing Greek problems

    ANA-MPA -- Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, in his reply to the questionnaire by the European Parliament's Finance Committee, that was sent to the Committee on Monday and forwarded to the Greek Parliament, detected failures and the non-timely diagnosis by the eurozone of the Greek economy's problems in the implementation of the first fiscal adjustment programme in 2010.

    He stressed that the country's negotiating position (n May 2010) was as a matter of fact difficult, due to its inability to secure access to markets, and pointed to a series of factors that functioned negatively in achieving the targets of the first memorandum, as its ambitious targets on the deficit and the debt were and failure to evaluate the repercussioons of fiscal adjustment on the real economy and the greater recession it caused.

    The minister also said that, among other things, there was a delay in the implementation of reforms, in tax administration on combatting tax evasion and the handling of bureaucracy in the public sector, that he termed as being of vital importance for the Greek programme's success.

    [03] State revenues exceed targets in November

    State revenues exceeded targets in November 2013, both for the month itself and for the January-November period, according to figures released by the General Secretariat for Public Revenues on Monday. Total revenues in November reached 2.37 billion euros, exceeding budget targets for the month by 14 percent.

    Commenting on the January-November 2013 results, General Secretary for Public Revenues Haris Theocharis said that the improvements in achieving targets were now "clear and irreversible" at the end of a difficult year for Greek tax-payers and the tax collection mechanism.

    "This success is credited not only to the staff in taxation management but mainly to the conscientious tax payers that participated in the common effort to reorganise the national economy for the fastest possible exit from the crisis".

    Total revenues for the January-November 2013 period fully recovered and moved into positive territory for the first time since March, exceeding targets by 0.4 pct. Targets were also exceeded by 500 million euros for tax rebates, which came to 3.06 billion euros instead of the initially forecast 2.56 billion euros.

    Tax offices exceeded targets for VAT collection by 1.8 pct in November, while the target was exceeded by 3.3 pct on an 11-month basis since the start of the year.

    The secretariat also reported a new rise of total overdue debts to the state, which reached 63.337 billion euros in November from 62.880 billion euros in October.

    According to the finance ministry, total collection of overdue debts in the 11-month period is estimated at 2.86 billion euros and increased by 30.1 pct (680 million euros) relative the same period in 2012 (2.19 billion euros). The ministry reported record collections performance during the month and an encouraging reduction in the number of individuals (108 pct) and legal entities (4.8 pct) with debts to the state.

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