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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-07-28

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'The time for the troika is over,' EC Vice-president Reding says
  • [02] FinMin Stournaras: Negotiations with troika in Sept. 'not easy'

  • [01] 'The time for the troika is over,' EC Vice-president Reding says

    ANA-MPA -- "The time for the troika is over," European Commission Vice-president and Commissioner responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding underlined in interviews in the Sunday editions of the Greek newspapers Real News and Kathimerini.

    She underlined that "the European Union has the right tools to cope with its own problems," noting that the "European citizens do not trust the troika, and they are right" because "fundamental decisions, for example, on whether to fire tens of thousands of public employees, should not be taken behind closed doors".

    Reding underlined that "we are grateful for the IMF's contribution to the various stabilization programmes in Europe. But this set-up has now run its course. This is no longer an emergency. By now, the EU has the right tools to cope with its own problems. That is why I say: The time for the troika is over...Europe is prepared and willing to solve its problems on its own – in the European way, with proper democratic control and accountability".

    Referring to the rise of populism as a result of the economic crisis, she said that "at times of crisis it is easy to give in to populism. But populism and shallow nationalism are not the solution to Greece's problem...nor a response to our collective challenges."

    "We have to stick to our values more than ever. And countries like Greece have to stick to the path of reform," she underlined.

    She underlined that "the European Union has the right tools to cope with its own problems," noting that the "European citizens do not trust the troika, and they are right" because "fundamental decisions, for example, on whether to fire tens of thousands of public employees, should not be taken behind closed doors".

    Reding underlined that "we are grateful for the IMF's contribution to the various stabilization programmes in Europe. But this set-up has now run its course. This is no longer an emergency. By now, the EU has the right tools to cope with its own problems. That is why I say: The time for the troika is over...Europe is prepared and willing to solve its problems on its own – in the European way, with proper democratic control and accountability".

    Referring to the rise of populism as a result of the economic crisis, she said that "at times of crisis it is easy to give in to populism. But populism and shallow nationalism are not the solution to Greece's problem...nor a response to our collective challenges."

    "We have to stick to our values more than ever. And countries like Greece have to stick to the path of reform," she underlined.

    [02] FinMin Stournaras: Negotiations with troika in Sept. 'not easy'

    ANA-MPA - Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said in an interview in a Sunday newspaper that negotiations with the troika in September will not be easy.

    He clarified that "it will probably be the last difficult negotiation" before the fiscal programme ends, considering that the government efforts gave results for the period 2013-2014 and the country's creditors were convinced that there is no fiscal gap but discussion is still open for 2015 and 2016.

    Stournaras said that the new Medium-term Fiscal Strategy currently prepared by the government should not show a fiscal gap because "it will have to be covered through the restructuring of the public sector" focusing on public-run companies, organizations and ministries and "not through additional tough fiscal measures".

    He said that companies that are not viable should be made viable through privatizations, mergers and downsizing.

    Stournaras underlined that the government has taken measures against tax evasion, noting that confiscations made so far correspond to over 2 billion euros.

    Referring to the VAT reduction in the restaurant and catering sector to 13 pct, the finance minister warned that it will be raised again to 23 pct if the measure brings no results.

    On the real estate property tax, he said that it had to be sent to taxpayers last year blaming the previous governments for the delay.

    Stournaras underlined that "the Greeks owe nothing to the German taxpayers. They pay the loan with interest. It costs nothing to the German people".

    Referring to his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble, he said that his opinion about Greece has changed and this has become obvious in Germany's stance.


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