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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK's programme expected in February
  • [02] FinMin optimistic over fiscal consolidation results

  • [01] PASOK's programme expected in February

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement's (PASOK) parliamentary council convened on Tuesday focusing on the party's actions in all sectors and especially on the issue of education.

    On this issue, the main opposition party is expected to present its own proposal-framework on the revision of article 16 of the constitution during the voting in parliament early in March.

    Concerning the overall programme of the party, this is expected to be presented to its president George Papandreou and its secretary Nikos Athanassakis before a debate takes place at the political council which, in its turn, will propose it to the party's national council not before February 20.

    [02] FinMin optimistic over fiscal consolidation results

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Tuesday expressed his satisfaction over the general condition of both the Greek and European economy, while he noted the need to be alerted over the fiscal sector.

    Commenting on the workings of a Eurogroup, on Monday's and Tuesday‚s ECOFIN meetings, the minister hailed a decision by the EU-27 to exit France from an excessive deficit procedure and directly implied that Germany and Greece would soon follow through.

    Alogoskoufis said that the Greek economy managed to enter a fiscal consolidation path without undermining its growth dynamism and without any negative impact on the unemployment front.

    ?Perhaps the last 2-1/2 years, Greece has shown the most spectacular macro-economic results compared with other EU member-states, because we combined a large reduction of fiscal deficits with very high growth rates and lower unemployment. I don‚t think such a combination has been recorded in any other EU member-state over the last few years,? the Greek minister noted. He underlined, however, that a forthcoming (before or after the summer) exit of the country from an excessive deficit procedure would not mean abandoning a medium-term target for full fiscal balancing (achieving balanced or surplus budgets in the coming years).

    The Greek minister expressed his belief that a decision to exit Greece from an excessive deficit procedure would be based both on the country‚s current figures and on Greek updated GDP (revised upwards by 25 pct). Alogoskoufis said Eurostat would verify Greece‚s past and future data in April, to confirm that Greece not only shrank its deficit below 3.0 pct of GDP in 2006, but that shrinking would continue in the years to come. A verification of the situation and the economic prospects of Greek would be made in April according to the country‚s non-updated data, he said, adding that the country‚s economic picture would be fully satisfactory after the revised data.

    Alogoskoufis said it was up to Eurostat to complete its work and noted that Greece‚s National Statistics Service was working hard to offer all methodology details asked by the EU executive‚s statistics agency.

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