Revenue beats expectations

Revenue beats expectations

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras spoke on Friday of the better-than-predicted course of revenues in 2022, and once again left open the possibility for additional fiscal space and new support measures.

Speaking on Parapolitika Radio, he said that provided there is some leeway on the fiscal front, it “will be returned in its entirety” to society as a whole, based on the priorities that the prime minister will set. According to recent statements by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, this should become known within this month. It is noted that the granting of aid to pensioners who did not receive an increase due to personal differences is under consideration.

Staikouras, moreover, emphasized that while the state aid across the European Union in 2022 averaged 1.3% of gross domestic product, in Greece it was 2.3%. He noted that inflation in Greece has undercut the EU average, but acknowledged that price hikes have shifted to food. In this context, he referred to the Market Pass, which will be provided as of February to help households in their purchases.

Regarding the new increase in interest rates by the European Central Bank and the response of banks to the relevant recommendations he made to them in December, Staikouras said that the matter remains open. After the banks’ recent announcement of the initiatives they have taken on deposit and lending rates and fees, he said he asked to be informed of their further actions.

The salary increases of civil servants have already started, the minister also noted, as the abolition of the solidarity levy, the contribution to their funds and the increase of doctors’ salaries by 10% are equivalent to a total of 350-400 million euros. The cost of the new pay structure, which will take effect as of next year, is expected to be around €500 million.

He described the goal of investment grade in 2023 as absolutely feasible. He did not say whether this would happen before or after the elections, given that in April and May, when the PM has said polls will take place, several rating reports are expected.

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