Politics: Interministerial meeting concludes that 'growth has begun to appear'

Speaking to reporters after an interministerial session chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday on the planning of the government's work, a senior minister stressed that "growth has begun to appear."

According to the same source, apart from the fiscal framework, the discussion focused on the government's growth initiatives, while conveying the "spirit" in which the government is moving, he said that it concerns "how we secure in the fiscal planning growth priorities in each sector and ministry" and additionally how "we shall unblock growth procedures."

According to reports, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou presented during the meeting macroeconomic data by which growth has begun to appear and recession is becoming "shallower." Some of the data concern the increase in exports in which exports of farm and industrial products have played an important role, as well as a recovery, however with a small percentage of businesses' confidence.

Replying to a relevant question, the same government member said that equating taxes on heating oil and diesel oil remains a government intention, adding that "alternative" solutions are also being examined.

Moreover, he termed "absolutely manageable" the lag in revenues, adding that the government is already "ahead" regarding the deficit.

On the question of privatisations and the utilisation of public property which, according to reports, was discussed during the meeting, its final form must be approved by the cabinet council by April 15, while according to the same reports an "unofficial" discussion will be taking place at the end of the month with the representatives of the troika on the basis of what has already been scheduled.

The same minister noted that Monday's statemengt by Environment Minbister Tina Birbili does not constitute differentiastion, adding that how there shall be public control in businesses "is a different matter."

Furthermore, according to reports, Papaconstantinou is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday to send letters to the banks with which he will request a report on what they have done with the money that they have already received. In a second stage, according to the same reports, a "framework on securing the chanelling of fluidity to the real economy" will be raised.

He also mentioned that the discussion on curbing expenditures at ministries is continuing.

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