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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin Alogoskoufis addresses Parliament
  • [02] Russian DM in Athens on Tuesday

  • [01] FinMin Alogoskoufis addresses Parliament

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis addressed the Parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee on Monday and presented the European Commission's Autumn Economic Predictions Report. "It is Greece's obligation to find itself with balanced or slightly surplus budgets in the years to come, until 2012 at the latest," he said.

    He added that such a thing necessitates the continuation of the structural reforms that have already produced results, parallel to strengthening the financially weaker groups of the population.

    "It is important that there is also backing for low and medium-level incomes with the tax reform we have presented," the minister further said.

    "I wish to stress that I am amazed with the scenarios coming to light on so-called burdens from the tax reform, because dissimilar things are being compared in these scenarios:Incomes of 2006 are compared with incomes of 2007, while the proper comparison should be for the same level of income, what would apply with the previous tax scale and what would apply with the new one," he pointed out.

    "You cannot compare different levels of income and say that a burden results, because a burden does not result from tax reform but from the fact that incomes are increasing and when incomes increase it is logical that the corresponding tax increases," Alogoskoufis explained.

    The minister reiterated that the fiscal adjustment effort will be continued in the years to come, particularly in the expenditures sector and the effort to crack down on tax evasion, and that Greece's exit from the excessive deficit process will be judged "after this year's budget closes and after the Committee evaluates the budget for 2007 once again."

    Alogoskoufis also mentioned that "evaluations made by the Commission so far are positive and our intention is to keep them positive."

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis)

    [02] Russian DM in Athens on Tuesday

    Russian Vice President and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov will be arriving in Athens on Tuesday on a two-day visit to Greece. Talks he will be having in Athens will focus on the state of security in the Balkans, military, defence and technical cooperation between the two countries and bilateral relations and prospects of widening them in general. Ivanov will be meeting Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis at noon on Tuesday and afterwards, accompanied by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, he will be received by President Karolos Papoulias.

    A meeting with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos will follow, while in the evening he will be attending an official dinner given in his honour by Meimarakis at the Armed Forces Officers Club.

    On Wednesday, again accompanied by Meimarakis, Ivanov will visit Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and then he will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    Lastly, he will be visiting the defence ministry for a meeting with its civil and military leadership.

    (Caption: Russian Vice President and Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov)

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