OPINION

Monetary venture

…The expansion of the euro currency to the remaining countries of the European Union will depend on the success of the common monetary policy. Therefore, the European Central Bank, which is responsible for maintaining the steady purchasing power of the common currency within the eurozone, plays a decisive role. But the newly born Central Bank has yet to inspire the confidence held by national central banks. It is worth noting, however, that with the exception of the German Bundesbank, the majority of national central banks have only in the last 10 years managed to win the trust of businesses and investors with the effectiveness and stability of their counter-inflationary policies. Moreover, their success was based on their gaining real independence from the national governments and on their distinguishing between the goals of fiscal and monetary policy. In terms of all this, Greece has made significant steps in the right direction. Our full participation, even with a two-year delay, in the single monetary venture gives the Greek economy the opportunity to aim high in a strict, well-organized and competitive environment. But we must safeguard and exploit this advantage and, above all, prevent it from becoming a disadvantage vis-a-vis the other countries that will join the eurozone in the coming years… But he had already rejected proposals by the same committee – whose function is purely consultative – for reductions in the higher taxable property values implemented in March 2001. Fotiadis explained this by saying that «the committee’s opinion was not convincing, as it failed to give comparative figures.»