PM rules out tax cuts in near future

Addressing the Delphi Economic Forum on Friday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras indicated that there would be no tax cuts in the near future, and certainly not until such measures can be taken without causing further damage to the fragile welfare state.

In an apparent dig at New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who told the forum on Thursday that a conservative government would lower taxes while bolstering jobs and reforms, Tsipras said tax cuts were no panacea for the country’s problems.

“Easy announcements” relating to taxation also do not do justice to the country’s potential for growth, Tsipras told the forum, indicating that investors need more than “just a piece of bait.”

A precondition for taxes to be reduced is to ensure that Greece does not return to wasteful spending and graft, Tsipras said, stressing that his government was not attempting to crack down on corruption to score political points against its rivals but “to radically tackle a systemic problem.” 

As Greece’s creditors signed off on the third review of the country’s third bailout, the premier repeated his conviction that Greece will emerge from the bailout in August with a cash buffer.

In an indirect jab at Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, Tsipras remarked that the “fixation” of some on the need for a precautionary credit line after the bailout expires does not represent the official position of the government.

Stournaras has said the credit line should be examined as a supplement to the cash buffer.