Friday August 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greek PM pledges first glimmer of recovery in 2013

Greece's prime minister on Tuesday promised an austerity-weary nation that 2013 will bring the first signs of economic recovery after a punishing five-year recession, and held out hope that pending tax reforms will reduce the burden on lower earners.

Antonis Samaras said last week's new debt relief deal with international creditors - on whose loans the country has depended for more than two years - has "finally" killed fears that Greece could be forced to abandon the club of European nations that share the euro currency.

To secure two bailouts and the new debt concessions from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund, Greece imposed drastic spending cuts and tax increases that slashed incomes and contributed to an economic output slump of more than 20 percent. Health, education and welfare funds were slashed, and unemployment has reached 25 percent.

"2013 is a turning point," Samaras told a business conference in Athens. For the first time we will see signs of recovery."

The government has said it expects a return to growth in 2014.

Samaras said last week's deal with creditors in Brussels, which hinges on a 10 billion euro debt buyback drive this week, affords Greece "a single chance ... which we must not squander - because it will be the last."

Samaras denied press reports his three-party coalition is planning to slap a 45 percent income tax rate on people earning more than 25,000 euros a year, saying a draft of new tax legislation would lower the burden on that income bracket and pledging a gradual reduction in rates as deficit-cutting measures take effect.

Finance Ministry figures released Tuesday said Greece has achieved a primary surplus - which excludes spending on debt servicing - of 2.3 billion euros in the first 10 months of 2012, compared to a 4.2 billion euros shortfall a year ago.

Speaking earlier at the same conference, the leader of the left-wing anti-bailout party that is leading opinion polls called for a delay in the repayment of the country's rescue loans until the recession is over.

Alexis Tsipras, who heads the main opposition Radical Left Coalition Party, argued that the austerity policies pursued by Samaras' government would continue to weaken Greece's economy and leave the country ever-more reliant on emergency loans.

"What we ask for is time, Tsipras said. "We ask for a suspension - a moratorium - of servicing the debt until the country returns to a course of growth, so that we can mobilize resources, restart the economy, and bring growth."

Tsipras said the new terms set out by the IMF and its 16 euro partners fell short of a viable solution.

"Unfortunately, they have postponed reaching a lasting settlement for the country's debt and crisis," he said. "This will only extend the uncertainty."

The 38-year-old Tsipras saw a five-fold increase in popular support for his party between general elections in 2009 and June 2012 as he campaigned by attacking Greece's political establishment and economic austerity.

The conservative-led government says his policies are populist and unrealistic and would see Greece default on its debt and leave the eurozone.

Tsipras, who has led opinion polls for about three months, insisted that his party - an often-squabbling alliance of a dozen small left-wing groups - is ready to govern.

"Our program is based on the intention to renegotiate the (bailout) agreement with our partners - not to repeat the causes of the crisis but to deal with them," he said.

[AP]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday December 5, 2012 (10:35)  
Greek civil servants refuse to cooperate with assessors
Greek minister returns to PASOK fold
Police bust illegal casino in central Athens
Police arrest man over 9.5 mln in debts to Greek state
Greek bourse benchmark ends week on a high
The Athens Stock Exchange general index closed 1.1 percent higher on Friday, at 1,56.37 points, as turnover totaled 79.01 million euros. Trading in shares of Hellas Online was suspended afte...
Ryanair says it can turn around ailing Cyprus Airways
Irelands budget carrier Ryanair on Friday submitted a plan to turn for-sale Cyprus Airways into a profitable operation by increasing passenger traffic by 500 percent over three years, offic...
Inside Business
West Brom sign Greek international striker Samaras
West Bromwich Albion have signed Greece striker Georgios Samaras on a two-year contract following his release from Scottish champions Celtic, the English Premier League club said on Friday. ...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos, Asteras Tripolis notch up vital wins in Europa League
Thursday proved a very productive night for two of the three Greek teams performing in the Europa League as Panathinaikos and Asteras Tripolis secured vital wins in the first legs of their p...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
On steroids
Bodybuilders are in a league of their own. They rarely make headlines for their achievements, their performance, or being role models. In contrast, theyre more likely to make the news due t...
EDITORIAL
Time to kick a stupid habit
Official figures indicate that tax dodging continues unabated across Greeces tourist areas. According to data made available by the Finance Ministry following checks conducted between July ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Greek bourse benchmark ends week on a high
2. Greek civil servants refuse to cooperate with assessors
3. Greek minister returns to PASOK fold
4. Police bust illegal casino in central Athens
5. Police arrest man over 9.5 mln in debts to Greek state
6. Ryanair says it can turn around ailing Cyprus Airways
more news
Today
This Week
1. Aftershocks rattle Halkidiki after strong 5-Richter quake
2. Coast guard intercepts 180 migrants in Aegean in two days
3. Avramopoulos, Hagel hammer out 'roadmap' of defense cooperation
4. Greek peach farmers await Brussels decision on compensation
5. Hardouvelis hears grievances of coalition MPS to unified property tax bill
6. Spanish government bonds rise with Italy's before Draghi speech
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Treating Amphipolis with care
3. Canadas fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
4. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
5. Ministry sys no to debt collection agencies
6. The magical mountain
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.