NEWS

No extremes in fiscal policy

With the Cabinet reshuffle, the government is in the final stretch before elections, which must be held by next spring. And National Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis made clear yesterday that his priority was to keep a fiscal balance. «We say a loud ‘no’ to an overturning of monetary policy, to illogical pre-electoral handouts, just as we say ‘no’ to extreme shock policies,» he said as his deputy finance minister, Giorgos Floridis, the new public order minister, handed his former post over to Nikos Farmakis. Christodoulakis set out five priorities: drawing up the 2004 state budget and sticking to 2003’s; uniting social security funds; finalizing the new, single wage scale for civil servants; strengthening the social state through the «Charter for Social Convergence,» heralded by the prime minister; and setting a new framework for controlling public spending, which continually threatens to overturn public finances.