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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-02-19

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK slams 'record' low competitiveness
  • [02] Gov't to ban dividend payment

  • [01] PASOK slams 'record' low competitiveness

    Greece's low competitiveness rating was the focus of criticism aimed at the government by main opposition PASOK on Thursday, with PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou claiming that the country "holds the European record for the deficit in competitiveness".

    The statement was made in the wake of an earlier announcement that the current accounts deficit had reached 8 percent.

    Countering the plan unveiled by Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou for leading Greece out of the crisis, Papaconstantinou underlined that this could not be achieved simply by imposing restrictions on spending.

    "One gets out of a crisis with measures of a developmental nature, since it is not only the size of the deficit that counts but also what it consists of," he said, adding that the government had failed to present a new "mix of economic policy" that included developmental targets and a redistribution of spending.

    Replying to questions about the 'social employment' proposed by PASOK, the spokesman clarified that this would include social insurance contributions and would be work targeting social needs, to be covered by the long-term unemployed and more vulnerable social groups. He said that this would be funded by the Greek state, once there was a picture of how many people were involved.

    [02] Gov't to ban dividend payment

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou on Thursday announced he would soon table an amendment to ban dividend payment or share buy-back programs by banks included in a 28-bln-euro government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the economy.

    Speaking in Parliament, the Greek minister said the finance ministry would also table a draft legislation on Friday envisaging cuts in property taxes, while a draft law was also expected to be table soon envisaging the support of hotel units in the country.

    Papathanasiou said it was a time for consensus and stressed the interests of the country should be ignored and underlined the need for social cohesion. Greece is expected to have a smaller fiscal deficit compared with other seven European states, but noted that the country has ?no room for loosening its fiscal policy?.

    PASOK deputy Luca Katseli strongly criticized government policies and said that the government was seeking consensus but not saying the truth, nor it was hearing to proposals presented by the main opposition party. She asked the Economy minister to explain why the country has entered an excessive fiscal deficit procedure.


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