Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) president Constantine Michalos warned on Friday that "the tsunami of new taxes being brought by the Medium-Term fiscal programme will drown Greece". Commenting on the finalised measures of the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Framework unveiled on Thursday by new finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, the EBEA chief said that "verbosity cannot provide solutions to the burning problems of the Greek economy", adding that the fears have been confirmed that the new government is simply a revamping of the previous government "and in no instance, as it turned out, plans to alter the explosive policy mix it has been applying for the past 20 months".
"The new finance minister, with his rhetorical ability, attempted yesterday to create a magical picture of the unbearable measures he imposed which, with mathematical precision, will plunge the market into deeper recession and society into absolute poverty. But the problems are not solved with verbosity and big words," Michalos said.
EBEA believes that the new finance minister has arrived "with even more hostile intentions for the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) than his predecessor (George Papaconstantinou), imposing on the teetering SMEs a poll tax of 300 euros annually in addition to the heavy taxes they are already paying, while at the same time vertically burdening their operational costs with an increase in the special consumption taxes on fuels, Michalos continued.
Unfortunately for Greece, the government does not realise that without growth the debt will continue to increase and the country will be further isolated from the international economic status quo into which it must gradually be incorporated, the EBEA chief charged, warning that austerity and excessive taxation are bad recipes for exiting the crisis, "something that everyone now concedes".
He warned that the Medium-Term programmes target of fiscal consolidation will in no instance be achieved since "the only result that the tsunami of new tax burdens will bring, in this period of perpetuating and acute recession, is closures of businesses and a dramatic increase in loss of tax revenues and, of course, an explosion in unemployment".
EBEA, he added, appeals to the government and to the political forces of the country in general to avert the disaster, even at this last moment, otherwise, it proposes a new beginning and recourse to elections as the only option.