BUSINESS

Greece eyes stronger growth, more tax cuts next year, says ministry

TAGS: Economy

Greece is confident of strong economic growth next year, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday, promising further tax cuts and more investment in 2020.

Greece emerged from international bailouts in 2018 after a huge debt crisis that wiped out almost a quarter of its economic output. Its fiscal progress is still being monitored by its lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

“Greece is returning to normality and that is being recognized domestically and internationally,” Staikouras said during an economic conference.

Athens expects growth of 2.0 percent in 2019 and at 2.8 percent next year, outperforming the eurozone average.

The conservative government, which came to power in July, hopes to attract foreign investment to cement the country’s economic recovery.

It has submitted a bill to Parliament cutting the corporate tax rate to 24 percent from 28 percent and lowering the tax rate on dividends to 5 percent from 10 percent which will be voted on this week, Staikouras said.

It also plans to hand out an income boost, a so-called social dividend, to about 200,000 Greeks by the end of the year, due to its fiscal outperformance.

Staikouras said that Athens and its international lenders have agreed that there was fiscal room of 1.2 billion euros for further tax relief next year.

In the longer term, Greece hopes to convince its foreign creditors that its targets for a primary surplus of 3.5 percent in 2022 and of 2.2 percent thereafter and up to 2060 can be lowered. [Reuters]

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