TIF pledges to cost 11.3 bln euros, SYRIZA says

The economic program presented by Alexis Tsipras at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday would cost 11.3 billion euros to implement, SYRIZA said Monday.

SYRIZA issued a detailed breakdown of the pledges made by Tsipras, which included restoring the minimum wage to 751 euros, the tax-free threshold to 12,000 euros and the 13th monthly pension payment for retirees. These and other promises made by the SYRIZA chief would be covered by collecting 3 billion euros in arrears, 3 billion euros from the money that the country’s bank recapitalization fund, the HFSF, has in reserve, as well as 3 billion from clamping down on tax evasion.

The coalition dismissed the program as being unattainable. Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said it would be “dangerously delusional” for people to think that raising the minimum wage would lead to workers experiencing the same financial conditions as before the crisis.

The centerpiece of Tsipras’s economic program is a 5-billion-euro scheme to create 300,000 jobs in the private and public sector over the course of two years. The SYRIZA leader said that this would be funded by European Union structural financing.

Deputy Development Minister Odysseas Konstantinopoulos suggested that most of the EU funds from the 2007-13 and 2014-20 packages had already been spoken for and SYRIZA would have to cancel projects in order to redirect it. The opposition party challenged this statement and said that 1 billion euros from the earlier package is in danger of being lost because it has not yet been absorbed.

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