ECONOMY

PM eyes corporate tax of 15 pct

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Monday he is in favor of a flat corporate tax rate of 15 percent in order to bolster investment and growth in the crisis-hit country.

Opening the Europe 2020 conference organized by the government and the European Commission in Athens, the premier said that the hardship Greece is going through actually favors the development of enterprises, stressing that entrepreneurship is the way out of the crisis.

He went on to explain that there cannot possibly be any growth without primary surpluses “as no matter how much costs are cut, it is impossible to reach our target with such high taxation.”

“It is only through private initiative that we will emerge from the crisis,” he stated, blaming the problems encountered in entering the Greek market on the obstacles raised by unions and bureaucracy.

Samaras reiterated that there will be no extra fiscal measures and that the credibility of the Greek economy will have to be preserved, otherwise the sacrifices of the Greek people will be wasted. “This year will be the crucial one for the rebound,” he said, expressing certainty that “Greece will make it.”

He pointed to the issues of cash flow and the need for more entrepreneurship as being crucial for the rebound. “We are fighting under difficult circumstances,” he stated, noting that the recapitalization of banks will safeguard the sustainability of the credit sector and boost liquidity in the market. The state has also gradually started paying back its arrears, at a time when it owes the private sector some 9.6 billion euros. “Along with confidence, the flow of deposits returning to local banks is growing, while liquidity is supported by the state repaying its dues to citizens,” the prime minister said.

Samaras also announced that a program offering guarantees to exporting companies will start at the end of April, adding up to 1.5 billion euros, while a letter-of-guarantees system is also being set in motion.