The Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEB), Greece's largest employers' union, on Thursday asked for a revision of the Memorandum signed with the troika, through the introduction of 15 shock measures, warning that excessive tax burdens and delays in implementing structural reforms were undermining the country's outlook.
The SEB proposals were submitted to EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn.
Speaking to reporters, after the meeting with the Commissioner in Brussels, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, president of the Federation, said "a faster implementation of structural reforms could justify any complacency in diversification from fiscal goals of 2010 and 2011 as the society cannot afford any additional tax burden or income cuts".
"It is my belief that our partners have the will and the intention to facilitate even further the country in completing this painful effort of economic restructuring," Daskalopoulos said.
The proposals will be submitted to the Greek government and troika officials also.
The 15 shock measures recommended by the Federation envisage:
Accelerating structural reforms with the opening up of all markets and professions, cutting deficits in all public enterprises and drastically cutting spending in hospital and pharmaceutical supplies.
Also, creating an effective mechanism to monitor the implementation of structural reforms, intensifying efforts to cut public waste, adopting shock measures to combat recession by promoting investments and growth, seeking to restart the economy with measures such as: restoring liquidity in the market, absorption of a 25-bln-euro support line by banks, ensuring VAT refunds, negotiating with European Investment Bank of more favourable financing criteria for large-scale projects, setting a minimum target for a Public Investments Program, cutting dividend taxes, adopting a new framework for holding companies, accelerating a privatizations program, promoting outsourcing of public services, setting new standards for international tenders, drafting a new plan based on the country's comparative advantages and creating an effective mechanism to coordinate this new development plan with the contribution of the private sector.
The Federation noted that an unprecedented fiscal adjustment program implemented in Greece carried serious risks, such as failure to meet revenue goals and an extended recession. Developments in the January-October period this year confirmed that these risks were real. "Raising taxes or cutting incomes is no longer a solution as they could push the economy deeper into recession and risk social turmoil," Daskalopoulos said.
He added that the Greek government and its creditors were overly optimistic on the ability of the country to raise its tax revenues and to move from a growth model based on loans, subsidies, public expenditure and consumption to a different growth model based on investments and exports.