Friday April 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Optimistic Stournaras prepares for challenges

By Sotiris Nikas

The Finance Ministry is working apace to fulfill the country’s obligations in the coming days and months, with the first key date ahead being the Eurogroup meeting on January 21.

On Wednesday Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras singled out the vote on the tax bill, set for next week, as the immediate priority, and expressed confidence that the Greek economy will begin to rebound in the second half of the year.

“I am the first to say that 2013 will be a difficult year, but this is when we prove whether we will be able to save ourselves from falling off the cliff,” the minister told Alpha 989 radio, adding that “we have all the elements required to make that happen and I hope that the political system will indeed demonstrate the consensus required for us to reach this main target.”

Stournaras went on to say that this is the first new year in a long time when all the right conditions have been in place for it to be a better year than the previous one, as Greece stands to see a rebound in the second half of 2013. “I remain an optimist, albeit a reserved one. This year we wish to initiate growth, to show how we want Greece to be in 2020 or 2025, and through which we shall get to where we aim to be,” he said.

He also referred to the prior actions required for the disbursement of the next bailout installments: “In 2013 we have to fulfill certain obligations in order to get the next tranches. Within January the main thing is the mini tax bill,” he said in reference to the draft law on taxation reform that is expected to clear Parliament by January 11.

January’s prior actions also include the approval of the electricity rate hike. Once this and the tax bill are approved, then the country’s troika of creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – will give the green light for the disbursement of the January tranche, comprising 9.2 billion euros.

The Finance Ministry was a hive of activity on Wednesday as the aim is for Greece to do all it has to do in time for the January 21 Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers. On Monday the government will publish the bill that will validate the legislative acts it has passed over the last month and a half in order to cover the previous tranche’s prior actions.

At the same time the countdown begins for the preparation ahead of the tranches of the next couple of months: In February (19 or 26) the quarterly inspection of the troika for the updating of the midterm fiscal plan is set to begin, while in March the government will have to have prepared the plan for public sector redundancies on a quarterly basis till the end of 2014.

The next major challenge will be the drafting and voting of the so-called “maxi” tax bill in spring. Stournaras said yesterday that a working group will be formed for the maxi-bill to be tabled in April or May in Parliament and incorporate clauses for combating tax evasion and for changes to the tax collection mechanism. He stressed that with the merging of tax offices the state will save human resources that will then focus on inspections, a crucial need these days.

“When you want to combat tax evasion, you do it in two ways: The first is with checks so as to minimize the possibility of tax evaders not being caught and the second is the appropriate penalties,” said Stournaras, who knows all too well that the troika will not tolerate another delay and failure to contain tax evasion.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday Jan 2, 2013 (22:31)  
PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
Primary surplus continued by end-March
Eurobank eyes top Core Tier 1 level in Greece
Tourist spending up 17.3 pct
Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
Greece officially offered on Thursday to assist Turkey in its efforts to locate and salvage a Turkish Air Force fighter jet which crashed in the Aegean almost 20 years ago. Greek Defense Min...
Talks lined up in wake of ‘shameful’ soccer scenes
The government has pledged to meet with soccer officials after Easter to tackle unruliness in the game following wild scenes at the Greek Cup semifinal between PAOK and Olympiakos in Thessal...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakos´s hopes for a break
Olympiakos tried harder in Game 2 of the Euroleague play-offs in Spain, and Real Madrid was not as good on Thursday as in Game 1, but the Spaniards still emerged victorious on the night with...
SOCCER
Greek soccer turns fishier than ever
Soccer in Greece reached new lows in scenes unseen since the national team’s triumph in Euro 2004, as PAOK and Olympiakos served up a cup semifinal with PAOK emerging as the winner and the s...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The placebo effect and the economy
Among the greatest mistakes made in the years of Greece’s hard landing is that citizens did not get the chance to sense that aside from austerity and pain the economic adjustment program als...
COMMENTARY
Ukraine is a crisis—but not a Cold War
Given Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the imposition of US and European sanctions, and the potential for more escalation in Ukraine, we are witnessing the most important geopolitical events s...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Former Red Bourousis wrecks Olympiakos´s hopes for a break
2. PPC to issue corporate bond of 500 mln
3. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
4. Primary surplus continued by end-March
5. Eurobank eyes top Core Tier 1 level in Greece
6. Tourist spending up 17.3 pct
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone
2. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
3. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
4. Seven arrested over Toumba violence
5. National Bank of Greece plans senior unsecured bond sale
6. Greek current account deficit widens in February
Today
This Week
1. Bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece
2. Samaras sees no need for third bailout
3. CCTV footage from Nigrita Prison shows signs of inmate torture [Video]
4. Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists
5. Car bomb explodes outside Greek Central Bank building, no one hurt [Update]
6. Parties start announcing candidates for European Parliament elections
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.