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Greece: No new plan to cut deficit despite warning

Greece: No new plan to cut deficit despite warning

Greece is not planning any new measures to reduce its swelling deficit, the finance minister said Monday, despite a warning from a top European Union official claiming tighter budget policies are needed.
Greece last week said wealthy and middle-income salary earners would face a one-off tax hike this year while many civil servants will see their salaries frozen. The policy is an effort to curb the budget deficit, which is predicted to exceed an EU limit and reach 3.7 percent of gross domestic production this year.
"I believe these measures are adequate and that nothing additional is needed," Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou told state television.
Several European nations are seeing their public finances strained by the global economic crisis, as revenues from corporate and income taxes drop and spending increases on economic stimulus plans, bailouts, and benefits for the jobless.
"We are not discussing or considering other measures (to reduce the deficit) ... (but) I cannot provide guarantees that something will not go wrong or that the situation will not change from day to day."
In interview published Sunday, Luxembourg Prime Minister and euro group president Jean-Claude Juncker said Greece required tougher action to improve its finances.
"It is no longer possible for things to keep developing as they have been in Greece," he told the Athens daily Eleftherotypia.
"The fact that (Greece) has twice exceeded the deficit limit in the last five years, clearly shows that Greece needs to take additional action," he said.


Updated : 2021-10-22 01:15 GMT+08:00