NEWS

Greek parliament approves 2020 budget, projects stronger growth

greek-parliament-approves-2020-budget-projects-stronger-growth

Greek lawmakers approved on Wednesday the country’s 2020 budget, which projects stronger growth driven by higher investment, improving domestic demand and tax cuts as the country recovers from a decade-long debt crisis.

A majority of 158 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament approved the budget that includes total tax cuts of 1.2 billion euros for corporations and individuals.

The budget forecasts the economy will grow by 2.8 percent next year from a projected 2.0 percent this year and generate a primary surplus, which excludes debt servicing costs, of 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told lawmakers that the budget, “sets a new national goal. Growth for all”.

Greece emerged from international bailouts in August 2018. But it still needs to meet fiscal targets, including a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of GDP up to 2022, which many consider unrealistic.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told Reuters on Thursday the economy’s strong performance would help convince official lenders that Greece’s primary budget surplus targets can be reduced.

Mitsotakis announced on Wednesday an additional 8 percent cut in real estate tax for 2020.

[Reuters]