No new taxes for 2007 and drop in inflation rate
According to sources, the 2007 budget, whose draft will have been compiled by 2 October, includes no new taxes. It will include, though, increases in the Pensioners’ Social Solidarity Allowance (EKAS) and the Agricultural Insurance Organisation (OGA), and decreases in the tax rates, the same sources said. The Ministry of Finance estimates that deficit will have stood at 2.6% by the end of 2006, while a new 0.2% fall is expected for 2007. Furthermore, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis briefed Friday noon the Prime Minister on the outcome of the Annual Summit of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held in Singapore, voicing his optimism over the future of world economy.
In his statements, Alogoskoufis underlined that Europe’s economy is on a good track, since deficits are on a dwindling path and high growth rates are recorded. He further stressed that world economy is estimated to do well in the next two years.
At the same time, while discussing with journalists, Alogoskoufis touched on OTE’s (Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation) denationalization, noting that searching for foreign advisors is underway.
As per information, whoever is appointed to the post won’t be allowed to be similarly involved in another telecommunications organization.
The inflation rate in Greece dropped to 3.4% in August from 3.9% in July, as per the official figures released by the European statistical service (Eurostat) on Friday in Brussels. Moreover, the inflation rate fell from 2.4% in July to 2.3% on average in August, both across the Eurozone and in the EU25, while it was 2.2% last year. The lowest inflation rates for August were recorded in Finland (1.3%), Sweden (1.6%) and Poland (1.7%), while the highest were recorded in Latvia (6.58%), Slovakia (5%) and Estonia (5%). The inflation rate increased in nine Member State in August, dropped in 13 and stayed the same in three.
Greek Economy Growth Rate
Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis voiced the optimism that the growth rate is expected to exceed 3.8% in 2006 and will remain robust in the coming years. What is more, he voiced his concern on the inflationary pressures wielded by the high prices of oil.
In Singapore, Alogoskoufis stated that the growth rate of Greek economy will quite possibly be revised in rates above 3.8%, as foreseen by the budget.
The Minister attributed his optimism on the fact that regardless of the constant raises in main interest rates in the Eurozone by the European Central Bank (ECB), interest rates in Greece remain at historically low levels, while Greece is benefited by the recovery of European Economy.
On the issue of inflation, Alogoskoufis conveyed the concern of the economy ministers participating in the Summit on the rising pressures caused by high oil prices.
Alogoskoufis said that Greece’s goal is for inflation to stay at 3.2% in 2006, as foreseen by the budget and noted that the figures emerging in the coming months until the end of the year will be evaluated.
What is more, Alogoskoufis urged Greek businesses to strengthen their extroversion, taking advantage of the possibility of participating in ventures of the World Bank.
The Minister of Economy and Finance stressed that the aim is the increase of Greek businesses’ participation in World Bank ventures, which come up to 20 billion dollars annually.