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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-08-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Steps to cut tax evasion, spending
  • [02] Papariga at Argolis
  • [03] Tsipras on visit to Ikaria

  • [01] Steps to cut tax evasion, spending

    The Greek government will continue its efforts towards fiscal consolidation and in reducing the country's fiscal deficit, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Wednesday during a wide-ranging press conference following an inner Cabinet meeting.

    Speaking to reporters following the Cabinet's approval of the guidelines of the 2009 budget, Alogoskoufis said the government was facing two main challenges: containing spending and introducing a fairer tax system. The Greek minister said the inner Cabinet approved the guidelines of next year's budget and noted that the ministry will table draft legislation to Parliament on Thursday envisaging measures to boost transparency in the state budget, promote measures towards a fairer tax system and regulations to better control spending by local authorities, hospitals and pension funds.

    The draft law will also include provisions for the incorporation of so-called ministries' special accounts to the state budget, along with measures to combat tax evasion and to expand the tax base.

    Alogoskoufis said the government was taking measures to cut the tax burden of wage-earners and pensioners and noted that the tax exempt level for wage-earners will be increased again.

    The minister said it was necessary that this policy be accompanied with measures to combat tax evasion. Alogoskoufis said there were around 200 special accounts currently managed by government ministries, although he noted that special accounts covering research and the environment would be preserved.

    He also announced that a special inter-ministerial commission would be set up with the aim to continuously control the finances of public hospitals, local authorities and pension funds. The draft legislation envisages the strengthening of these entities to draft their business plans, but also sanctions for failure to meet their obligations.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Greek FinMin George Alogoskoufis.

    [02] Papariga at Argolis

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga who began a tour of Argolis prefecture on Wednesday, said in Nafplion that, for her party, it was not important when elections would be held, but that a change in the correlation of political forces arises from the electoral result.

    During a press conference at the Argolis Prefectural building, when asked to comment on the prospect of early general elections, Papariga said that the ruling ND party will assess when it it would be advantageous for itself to call elections.

    The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), she continued, could want elections, due to the high percentages it was receiving in opinion polls, but was a social-democratic party with common elements with the main opposition PASOK party.

    She said early elections was any easy option, but added that this does not change anything, while for the KKE what mattered was not the timing of elections but a change in the correlation of political forces resulting from the elections.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    [03] Tsipras on visit to Ikaria

    Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) leader Alexis Tsipras began a two-day visit to the eastern Aegean island of Ikaria on Wednesday, where he was briefed by local officials on problems facing the island, as well as the neighbouring isle of Fourni.

    Local officials called for central government assistance to facilitate solutions for many of the problems of Ikaria's residents.


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