ECONOMY

2002 budget will have two scenarios

The 2002 budget will contain two sets of macroeconomic figures as the country awaits the impact of the September 11 attacks on the global economy, Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday. The draft budget will have two alternative scenarios. The temporary one will have a somewhat lower gross domestic product (GDP) figure and cut in expenses, Papantoniou told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis to discuss the final changes to be made to next year’s budget. This lower scenario forecasts 2002 GDP growth of 4 percent, lower than this year. Ministry sources said the budget’s final figures may not be finalized until November, when the final draft is prepared. Ministry officials were saying that the 4 percent growth figure is reachable if no other catastrophic events occur. Greece is expected to grow at almost double the EU average, thanks to generous EU inflows through the Third Community Support Framework and the boost in the construction sector provided by Athens’s hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games.(Combined reports) Other, unconfirmed reports refer to an intention by Kokkalis to withdraw from Intracom along with the entry of a strategic investor, possibly from N. America.