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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FinMin on policy plan

  • [01] FinMin on policy plan

    A new framework of fiscal management, promoting privatizations, deregulating services markets and the opening of so-called closed professions are included in a new package of government actions, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters, the Greek minister also said his ministry will introduce a single payment authority in the public sector, integrating all payroll spending in the public sector. The first phase of this plan will include all government ministries in the first half of the year, to include municipalities and public sector enterprises by the end of 2010.

    A new fiscal management framework will include drafting of three-year budgets from government ministries and hiring auditing firms to monitor the execution of state budgets. Papaconstantinou said two auditors will be placed in every ministry and every pension fund and state hospitals to help in the proper execution of budgets plans.

    The finance minister said the government‚s aim was to save the economy and to restore the country‚s credibility. He presented a series of ministry initiatives and actions aimed at restoring economic stability, transparency and fair distribution, while he offered a detailed report of the government‚s actions during its seven months in office. He said there were very positive results in the country‚s public finances in the first quarter of the year and added he was cautiously optimistic over the success of this year‚s budget. Papaconstantinou said the government would introduce a permanent consultation mechanism with all agencies and unions.

    Commenting on a visit by an IMF delegation in the Finance ministry, Papaconstantinou said he was expecting to receive the delegation's recommendations and to publish them soon afterwards.

    The minister will travel to the US to attend an IMF meeting in the weekend and said talks with a 20-member delegation from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund over the framework of a joint support mechanism for Greece will last at least 10 days and dismissed recent press reports over additional measures. He clarified that Greece would not begin a roadshow in the US to promote a US-dollar bond issue, as the government has not yet reached a decision on the timing of such a move.

    He said measures taken so far, more than covered a target to cut the fiscal deficit by four percentage points of GDP this year, while he categorically dismissed reports that the four-party talks would discuss a plan to restructuring the country‚s public debt.

    Papaconstantinou said a decision to activate the support mechanism for Greece would depend on the progress between the government and the three organizations and stressed that activation procedures would be direct allowing the country to borrow from the Eurozone and the IMF on the short-term covering its borrowing needs for May (less than 10 billion euros).

    The minister attributed a widening of the Greek bond yield spread to uncertainties over the support mechanism, market‚s concerns over the medium-term trend of the public debt and to speculative moves in the market.

    He also sounded cautiously optimistic that economic growth rates would not be as bad as initially estimated by analysts and stressed that informal economy would act as a pillow to protect the country from a recession.


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