Financial News: FinMin on mid-term deficit reduction programme

Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on Tuesday expressed the government’s intent to implement a medium-term fiscal adjustment programme, “in an attempt to bring deficit down to 1 pct of the GDP in 2015”.

Addressing a Parliamentary standing committee on economic affairs, Papaconstantinou underlined that “state-owned real property will be utilised and not be sold out.”

Moreover, he rejected the opposition’s criticism concerning the “government policy mix” and the adoption of “new anti-popular measures”, as being “easy and costless”.

Responding to the leftist criticism made on the new 30-billion-euro bailout offered to the Greek banks, Papaconstantinou stressed that “we do not give money, but we provide with guarantees that will allow the banks to receive cash from the European Central Bank (ECB) and continue assisting the Greek

enterprises. We have to do everything possible to boost Greek exports allowing the faint growth observed to turn into positive growth rates and real recovery after 2012.”

Papaconstantinou stressed that “the Greek banks have offered a lot but they have made mistakes as well, by not supporting the production sectors of the economy as much as they should have. However, the Greek banking system did not commit the crimes observed in other countries. It did not invest in toxic bonds and the state was not forced to save the banks from catastrophe. The banking system is met with closed doors because of the public sector. The state has an obligation to support the banks so that in turn they will support the Greek economy.”

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