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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-01-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Time for troika to go home, Europarliament's Swoboda says
  • [02] Greek budget shows 603-mln-euro primary surplus in 2013‏

  • [01] Time for troika to go home, Europarliament's Swoboda says

    ANA-MPA - "It's time for troika to go home and for Greece take up the responsibility of reforms that need to be done in the country," Hannes Swoboda, head of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament said on Thursday at a press conference following a meeting with the mayor of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, Yiannis Boutaris.

    "Unnecessary sacrifices have been made, but we cannot turn the clock backwards. We can stop now and turn to growth and the creation of investment and jobs," Swoboda pointed out, asked what the consequences for the Greek people would be if the investigation of the Europarliament' s Committee found that troika had made mistakes.

    He said he was in favour of the Europarliament monitoring and checking troika's activities in Greece, but such a proposal was not supported by the European Popular Party, which holds the majority in the Commission.

    He also commented on a statement by the Commission's vice-president that troika was negotiating with Greece and there was a concession on the measures imposed on the country. "Perhaps, there is some sort of negotiation. When you put the gun to their heads, what can they do, they will have to agree," he said.

    Referring to Greece, he pointed out that a lot of changes have been accomplished, but now it was time for more efficient and targeted measures, putting emphasis on reforms in the public administration.

    On taxation, he said it should be directed on wealthy people and be lowered on medium and small-sized companies. Finding funds and helping businessmen invest and create jobs should be a priority.

    The country's presidency in the EU is an opportunity for Greece to improve its image abroad and attract investors, Swoboda pointed out.

    On Greece's terrorism issue, Swoboda said there was concern and pointed out that the Greek politicians should send Europe a clear message: "Being against the troika is one thing, bombs and terrorism are quite another." He added that all political forces in Europe were against extremism and rejected any kind of violence and terrorism.

    Swoboda and Boutaris discussed the need to promote development programmes in Greece alongside with the implementation of the bail-out deal.

    [02] Greek budget shows 603-mln-euro primary surplus in 2013‏

    ANA-MPA -- The Greek government on Wednesday presented a primary surplus of 603 million euros in its 2013 budget, from a primary deficit of 3.464 billion euros in 2012 and a revised target for a primary surplus of 15 million euros, the finance ministry said in a statement. The general government's cash deficit in the January-December 2013 period totaled 5.441 billion euros, from a shortfall of 15.688 billion euros in the previous year and a revised target for a deficit of 6.085 billion euros. Net state budget revenue was 53.018 billion euros, down 0.4 pct compared with a revised target. The finance ministry attributed this development exclusively to the revenues of the Public Investments Programme in December, which totaled 173 million euros, down 76.1 pct from budget targets, reflecting a delay in the disbursement of money from the European Union. Net regular budget revenues totaled 48.423 billion euros, up 0.7 pct from budget targets. Tax proceeds totaled 44.614 billion euros, up 211 million euros from budget targets. More analytically, property taxes surpassed a revised target by 7.4 pct, direct tax proceeds surpassed targets by 5.1 pct, VAT proceeds were 3.2 pct up from targets, car/motorcycle registration fees were up 7.5 pct and other non-tax revenues grew by 4.6 pct more than budget targets for the year. On the other hand, income tax proceeds fell short by 0.7 pct, direct tax proceeds were 2.9 pct lower than estimated, VAT and special consumption tax on tobacco fell short by 4.5 pct and 4.9 pct, respectively, while VAT on oil products was 4.3 pct lower than estimates. The finance ministry said that revenues met targets for the first time in the last five years and noted that tax returns totaled 3.105 billion euros, up 7.0 pct from budget targets. State budget spending totaled 51.809 billion euros, down 868 million euros from budget targets. Regular budget spending fell 15.8 pct in 2013. Public Investments Programme spending totaled 6.65 billion euros, up 8.8 pct from 2012.

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