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Economy

No Plans to Lower VAT Rates, Greek FinMin Says

ATHENS – “There are no plans currently to lower VAT rates,” Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Wednesday. In comments made to a radio station, Staikouras said the government cannot derail the state budget in January and added that the government has already introduced a series of tax reductions and stressed that a priority was to have fiscal space to make these reductions permanent and to have room for any additional interventions. The Finance minister noted that the 2021 state budget closed with a primary deficit of 7% of GDP (around 13 billion euros) which must he brought down to zero in 2023.

Staikouras said the government will take initiatives to lower costs to family budgets, particularly those with lower incomes, adding that according to ECB’s forecasts there will be a significant de-escalation of rising costs in the second quarter of 2022. However, he added that the Finance ministry will run adverse scenarios over budget execution to cover any event. Staikouras said Greece will exit the status of enhanced supervision in 2022 and will receive a double tranche from ANFAs and SMPs during the year. Commenting on the country’s credit rating he said the goal was to obtain the investment grade in 2023.

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