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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Budget debate begins

  • [01] Budget debate begins

    The debate on the draft budget for 2010 began in Parliament on Saturday, with speeches by representatives of all five parties in Parliament. The debate is set to continue for roughly five days and the final vote will be held on Wednesday night next week.

    The debate on Saturday kicked off with PASOK general rapporteur Yiannis Koutsoukos, who described the draft budget unveiled by the government as the start of a major and difficult effort to bring Greece out of the dead end in which it was mired.

    He described the draft budget as "transitional" and said it had multiple goals, while it was part of an overall plan that would be outlined in the four-year stability and growth programme, through which the government would seek to bring the deficit below 3 percent of GDP at the end of PASOK's four-year term.

    Main opposition New Democracy rapporteur Manolis Kefaloyiannis, on his part, accused the government of having a hidden agenda and demanded more information and explanations.

    "The budget is fake. The government is keeping double books," he said, calling the budget unveiled by the government "the apogee of creative accounting" that had artificially increased the size of the deficit. Kefaloyiannis asserted that this was closer to 19 billion euros or 8.3 percent of GDP, instead of the 12-odd percentage points claimed by the government and central bank.

    According to speakers of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), the budget proposed by the present government was essentially indistinguishable from that tabled by its predecessor ND the previous year, with LAOS MP Kostis Aivaliotis slamming it as a "ghost of extremity number 2" and saying that the tabling of the budget for Greek people had become a "series of ghastly horror films".

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) rapporteur Panagiotis Lafazanis accused the government of having set aside the promises it made before the elections and of having promised something different again in statements abroad.

    "It is a different budget you have tabled in Parliament to that you announced on Bloomberg's television, organ of international capital markets," he said.


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