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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-12-01

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek economy to return to growth sooner than expected, EconMin says
  • [02] What will be decided for Greece in labour will be applied in other European countries too, says Labour Minister Katrougalos

  • [01] Greek economy to return to growth sooner than expected, EconMin says

    "Greece will not become a tax heaven. We will follow the road of European countries which maintain high tax rates," Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday, addressing a conference organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

    "We will not transfrom the Greek economy into a low labor cost economy, as in other neighboring countries, tax and social security rates will be around the EU average raes and this is a condition for our economy growth," Stathakis said, adding that the model adopted in the country since the first memorandum was signed for a rapid shrinking of state spending and wage reduction to the levels of neighboring states has been tested and was leading to risky paths. "But Greece has productivity well above these countries. The stategy of violent de-escalation was wrong and it is positive that it has been abandoned. Because of the crisis and bankruptcy we could not flirt with logics that put permanent burdens on the economy," the Greek minister said.

    He stressed that Greece could exit the crisis in a sustainable and social cohesive way, adding that the economy will return to positive growth rates sooner than expected, probably in the first quarter of 2016, but surely before the end of the first half of 2016.

    Stathakis said the government has positively handled the imposition of capital controls and noted that sectors such as tourism and manufacturing remained unaffected. The Greek minister said the government will present a new growth model by May 2016, adding that adoption of the 48 milestones agreed with creditors last summer and a successful completion of a bank recapitalization plan -with the state participation limited to 5.5 billion euros from the 25 bln initially estimated- will bring stability and prospect back to the economy and added that completion of the first review of the Greek adjustment programme in December will offer additional boost.

    Stathakis said that a reprofiling of the Greek debt for the period after 2022 -bas envisaged in an agreement signed with creditors- will ensure that Greece will not face any debt crisis in the future. He noted that a series of interventions and reforms currently implemented, such as simplification of licensing procesures, creating an investor-friendly enviroment, adopting a new e-procurement system, revising a development leaw and adopting measures to attract foreign direct investments, along with introducing a stable tax system which will be included in a new development legislation, "Greece could become a pole of stability and growth".

    [02] What will be decided for Greece in labour will be applied in other European countries too, says Labour Minister Katrougalos

    The gïvernment aims to form a just and sustainable social security system without further pension cuts, Labour Minister George Katrougalos said during his meeting with the president of EU Labour Ministers Council Nicolas Schmit on Tuesday.

    He also stressed that it is not only a national guideline but a national need.

    Katrougalos said that the aim is the stregthening of the social dimension in Europe while the proposal for a Eurogroup of EU Labour Ministers like the one of the Finance Ministers Eurogroup was also discussed.

    "The issue of the negotiations with the institutions is not exclusively a bilateral issue but a European one because since we have to define what are the best European practices on the labour sector, what will be decided for Greece, will also apply in the future to France, Italy, Portugal and the whole Europe. So, we insist on the European social model," noted Katrougalos.

    On his part, Schmit focused on the strengthening of employment, and mainly on young people, that will bring Greece a step closer to the integration in the European vision and the promotion of the European social values.


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