BUSINESS

PBO report is unusually criticism-free

EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

TAGS: Finance, Politics

The prime minister may be raising the stakes in the clash with opposition parties, while the government still hasn’t revealed its “holistic” master plan for growth, but the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) on Monday called for a minimum consensus on a long-term strategic plan that would exceed the mandate of one government, as it states.

In its first quarterly report, presented on Monday, new PBO coordinator Frangiskos Koutentakis stated that “a reliable commitment that past practices will not be repeated is required,” that priority should lie on preserving fiscal stability and that reforms must continue in an ambitious fashion.

The report, the first under the former general secretary for fiscal policy, avoids challenging the government as the PBO has traditionally done on issues such as overtaxation, saying instead that the excessive primary surplus is a good message of the country’s credibility.

The PBO sides with the International Monetary Fund in saying the conditionality of the debt-easing measures should not be so strict, as that would generate uncertainty and raise the state’s borrowing costs.

It also undercuts the official growth forecast of 2.3 percent for this year, speaking instead of a rate “around 2 percent.”

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