ECONOMY

German model for projects

Ruling New Democracy is proposing the foundation of a bank by the state to fund the construction of infrastructure projects so as to bolster domestic construction activity without further burdening the country’s fiscal deficit, said Economy Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou in an interview with Kathimerini. «The growth and fiscal benefit from such a move would be tremendous,» said Papathanassiou. The proposal is the cornerstone of the conservative party’s economic program for the election campaign and is intended to mimic the model of Germany’s government-owned development bank KfW. Papathanassiou, a candidate for re-election in the upcoming polls on October 4, argued that the government had been in contact with KfW before the elections were called in order to provide Greece with know-how or possibly even participate in the effort. The proposed idea also provides for commercial banks to be able to take part in the project as well. The minister further suggested that New Democracy will seek to ensure that contracts for transactions regarding property carry its commercial value, while taxes will be calculated on the basis of the so-called objective value, i.e. the official estimate of a property’s price for tax purposes. This will be done in cooperation with the European Commission and its aim will be to beat tax evasion in real estate transactions. In a move in the same direction, Papathanassiou proposed that property transactions be forced by law to be conducted via bank checks.