IMF wants clear medium-term goals

The winner of Sunday’s general elections will need to draw up a medium-term fiscal plan and improve transparency on budgetary targets as part of a push to get public debt on a downward course, according to Miranda Xafa, executive board member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Xafa said in an interview to quarterly magazine Business File that, after the October 4 polls, the government should seek the support of all political parties and approve a drastic cut in public spending and broaden the tax base through «high-quality durable measures.» «Compliance with the plans should be monitored through frequent, publicly announced targets, such as the number of civil servants,» said Xafa. «Corrective measures should be taken if the targets are missed.» The Washington-based International Monetary Fund has recommended a five-year plan for Greece aimed at eliminating the operating deficits of public enterprises through restructuring or privatization. Greece’s privatization program, which aims to raise about 1 billion euros this year, looks set to meet its annual target but the funding should be used to lower debt rather than «to plug the budget gap,» Xafa pointed out. «Greece’s privatization program is too little too late relative to the rest of the EU,» she added, referring to delays such as the sale of state-owned Olympic Airlines.