Investment incentives wanted

Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis yesterday called on the commission preparing the new «Development Law,» as the law on providing investment incentives is called, to provide «specific proposals… toward a simple and workable development law, which will answer the Greek economy’s needs and will be compatible with European Union regulations and law.» The previous Development Law, submitted by Alogoskoufis’s predecessor, Nikos Christodoulakis, was widely hailed for providing a stable, low-tax regime on investors. However, by setting a lower limit of 30 million euros for investments benefiting from this special regime, it fell afoul of EU regulations requiring that no discrimination be made against small and medium-sized enterprises, which the EU regards as the motor of future economic growth. Thus, the previous law, voted on earlier this year, was never applied. Alogoskoufis explained that the present conservative government wants a «balanced» economic growth, meaning that the regions should not be overlooked compared to the Athens and Thessaloniki areas, which account for the bulk of the country’s industrial production. Apart from widely spread investments, the government also favors capital-intensive investments and the promotion of research and development. Alogoskoufis stressed that, «along with the tax reform, the (new Development Law) is one of our main commitments to the Greek people, which demands that the country enter an era of dynamic growth and face the challenges of the future.»

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