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Economy

Staikouras: Greek Gov’t to Announce Targeted Sectoral Tax Interventions

ATHENS – The government will announce targetted sectoral tax interventions, taking into account not only their impact on the 2020 fiscal data but also their impact on the 2021 fiscal result, the finance ministry's Secretary General of Economic Policy Christos Triantopoulos said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Tuesday.

He pointed out that the new status quo with respect to economic globalisation and related developments will create opportunities for competitive Greek companies in the primary sector, manufacturing, new technologies and various dynamic sectors of the Greek economy to claim a new and larger share of international production distribution. In this direction, the support of the state is a given, he added.

Q: In the unfavourable scenario of the Stability Programme sent to the European Commission, a recession of 7.9 pct is forecast for this year, while the Commission sees a 9.7 pct recession. How likely is this scenario given that the European Union is delaying the disbursement of much-needed funds (eg the SURE programme)?

A: The coronavirus pandemic is testing the resilience of societies and economies all over the world, as well as in our country, causing great uncertainty worldwide. Because of this uncertainty, the government included two scenarios in the EU's Stability Programme: the basic scenario, according to which the recession in 2020 is estimated at 4.7 pct, after the impact of the government's measures to deal with the consequences of the pandemic, and an unfavourable one, according to which the recession is projected at 7.9 pct, again taking into account the impact of the measures. Without the support measures that have been taken or will be taken by the government, the recession is estimated to range between 10 pct and 13.2 pct, respectively.

The goal, however, is not to confirm any adverse scenarios but to mitigate, as much as possible, the recessionary effects and losses of the Greek economy.

In this direction, the implementation of the plan to deal with the coronavirus crisis is progressing, both through horizontal policies to support income and increase liquidity for businesses, and through sectoral interventions in the immediate future. A plan that fully utilises both community resources and programmes.

In this context, after the recent decisions of the Eurogroup, still pending – and this is a government priority – is the immediate completion and implementation of recent European decisions for supporting workers and businesses, through the SURE programme and the creation of a European-wide guarantee fund by the European Investment Bank. Decisions that should be implemented immediately, from June 1, without the moment of the disbursement of EU funds by the SURE programme affecting the annual impact of the measure on the economy.

And, of course, the creation of a Recovery Fund is pending in order to meet the challenges that all European economies face.

I believe that by working methodically, effectively and with a sense of justice, we will be able to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the economy, by laying the groundwork for a dynamic recovery in 2021, as the European Commission recognises in its spring forecasts.

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