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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Finmin on customs strike

  • [01] Finmin on customs strike

    Rolling strikes by Greek customs workers that had already led to fuel shortages were not justified by the facts, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis stressed on Wednesday.

    "It is not possible for a group of well-paid public employees to attempt to hold the entire Greek economy and Greek society hostage because they want to manage the Special Account for the benefits that they receive themselves," he said during a briefing for Parliament correspondents.

    He stressed that recent laws incorporating such special accounts into the state budget sought to ensure transparency in public finances and would in no way affect the payment of benefits established by law to civil servants.

    The minister also commented on his plans to introduce presumptive taxation based on standard of living indicators, noting that certain claims appearing in the press were "figments of the writers' imagination".

    "You will see, when we present these indicators, that they are absolutely reasonable. They will be linked to the cost of maintaining certain lifestyle elements and will bear no relation to the indicators of the past," Alogoskoufis underlined.

    Their introduction would help prevent the "unacceptable phenomenon" of people living in luxury while declaring incomes close to the poverty line, he added.

    Regarding Greece's response to the global credit crisis, he said that there would have to be some policy adjustments to help boost growth in the current uncertain climate but also to combat inflation, as well as measures to help those groups worst affected by the global upheaval.

    At the same time, he stressed the need for consistency and adherence to fiscal discipline:

    "If we do not show continuity, consistency and flexibility where needed, if we carry out a sudden shift in policy that is not consistent with the rules of European economic policy, then I am afraid that our country will be plunged into new adventures," he warned.

    Regarding Greece's position at the informal Eurogroup and ECOFIN ministers' councils in Nice, Alogoskoufis said that he raised the issue of re-assessing the medium-term goal of achieving zero deficits by 2010, as decided in Berlin.

    "We took this decision when conditions in the European economy seemed good. I raised the issue of re-assessing this limit - and had a positive response from some colleagues - in light of current facts, in conditions of a slowdown of the global economy and a possible recession of the European economy," he said, adding that no decision was taken on this issue and that it would be discussed again at the next council meetings.

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