Economic benefits at hand

Spurred on by the European Commission’s upbeat assessment last week of Greece’s economic policy, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis told Sunday’s Kathi- merini that the public would soon reap the rewards of the measures. Alogoskoufis has drawn some criticism for the policies he has adopted to reduce Greece’s public deficit, as unions and bosses clash over this year’s pay raises. But the minister said the positive effects of his policies would be evident to Greeks by next year. «It is clear that the positive developments we have achieved will be reflected in the disposable income of citizens,» the minister said. In a dig at the bookkeeping practices of the previous PASOK government, Alogoskoufis said it was only now that the true picture of the Greek economy was emerging. «When true figures prosper, citizens prosper as well, unlike in the past when creative accounting prospered,» he said. Alogoskoufis told Sunday’s Kathimerini that he thought the current dispute between unions and employers over collective pay bargaining would soon blow over. Labor Minister Savvas Tstitouridis said yesterday that he was optimistic a solution to the wage dispute could be found but refrained from taking sides in the matter. Alogoskoufis said the government would also begin spending more on public works projects next year but insisted that reining in public expenditure was still one of the key elements of the government’s economic policy. PASOK insisted yesterday that the government was using its economic policy to favor the few. «The New Democracy government… is following a policy which effectively redistributes wealth and income from the many to the few and raises doubts about the social dimension of the policy,» said Socialist MP Akis Tsochadzopoulos.