New committee to re-evaluate economy

Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou announced yesterday the creation of a new committee to assess the real state of the domestic economy. While carefully avoiding the vilified term of fiscal revision, Papaconstantinou practically suggested that the committee’s conclusions will help the government to reassess the situation and understand where problems were created in the past. The committee will consist of representatives from the Institute of Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), the Center for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE), the Bank of Greece, the Labor Institute and possibly a representative from the Hellenic Banks Association. Its mission will be to deliver by the end of the year an evaluation of the economy accompanied by proposals as to how to improve the system for recording data so as to have more reliable figures, «which will also be useful in our relations with our partners,» the minister explained. The issue of transparency is a top priority for the government and the same goes for public finances, Papaconstantinou stated, adding that the major difference between the deficit announced by the previous government and the true one means that Greece must regain its credibility. This decision to set up the committee, he added, illustrates the ministry’s intention to promote transparency and presentation of the real data, rather than covering things up.