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Politics: FinMin newspaper interview

Δημοσίευση 17 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:05 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Politics: FinMin newspaper interview
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The solutions put forward, such as the euro-bond, help but do not aim at postponement of today's difficult decisions, finance minister George Papacon-stantinou stressed in a newspaper interview appearing on Sunday, adding that the fundamental rule for achieving fiscal adjustment in Greece is succeeding with the deep and tough changes and radical reforms in the state in the next three years.

The solutions put forward, such as the euro-bond, help but do not aim at postponement of today's difficult decisions, finance minister George Papacon-stantinou stressed in a newspaper interview appearing on Sunday, adding that the fundamental rule for achieving fiscal adjustment in Greece is succeeding with the deep and tough changes and radical reforms in the state in the next three years.

On objections to the issue of a euro-bond, Papaconstantinou observed in his interview appearing in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper that the voices openly in favor, or at least of examining the matter, have increased, compared with the few voices just a few months ago.

Regarding Monday's eurogroup meeting and the prospect of a decision being taken for extending the repayment period for Greece 110 billion euro EU/IMF support loan, the minister explained that this will require procedures that cannot be completed, nor even decided, in just one day.

He said that the eurogroup's announcement -- practically, the political decision -- for the commencement of those procedures has been made. Consequently, when the European Commission and the eurozone member countries are technically and politically ready, the official decision will proceed, which will also mean its immediate materialisation, the minister added.

Regarding a decision by the European bodies for increasing the capital of the European mechanism and the purchase of state bonds, Papaconstantinou said that "what everyone acknowledges is that we cannot wait for perpetuation of this situation of tension and anticipation of decisions that, when finally made, are one step behind the developments", and expressed belief that the necessary decisions will be taken at this week's eurogroup session or at one of the upcoming EU summit meetings.

The finance minister further denied press reports that Greece has proposed a "mild restructuring" of its debt and, commenting on negative forecasts by analysts and markets, he said that the forecasts are not "divine law" and explained that, in the real economy, the human decisions reverse the facts and conditions and can radically alter the prospects.

The dangerous accumulation of amortization payments in the first two to three years after 2013, resulting from the repayment of the support mechanism loans, that all the analysts 'see', is reversed with the understanding of the need for longer repayment periods, which was reflected in the Irish loan, and Greece will follow, thus substantially improving the profile of its repayments in the future, Papaconstantinou explained.

Regarding the rating houses and Fitch's recent announcement on Greece, Papaconstantinou cited the positive quarterly assessment of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, and noted that the decisions of the rating firms should be determined by real facts rather than forecasts for the future, which are based on many predictions that frequently are unfounded.

On the fight against tax evasion, Papaconstantinou acknowledged that "we have not reached our targets on the matter of punishment of the tax dodgers", adding that the next target will be the creation of an effective and convincing system of penalties for tax evasion.

Regarding the country's return to positive growth rates, the minister said he is more optimistic than he was a few months ago, adding that "we can believe in a gradual recovery in investments as a result of the incentives given for foreign investments and also due to the targeted actions of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and the investment law, and new productive investments. Until the new investment guides are developed, the return to positive growth rates will result from a recovery in traditional contributing branches such as tourism, commerce and shipping, he added.

Papaconstantinou further assured that the actions contained in the Memorandum "are not law, but contractual commitments and, in their overwhelming majority, are subject to parliamentary approval".