Fi­nal draft ad­justs pri­mary sur­plus

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY SOTIRIS NIKAS

The fi­nal draft of the 2015 state bud­get, which is to be tabled in Par­lia­ment next Fri­day, pro­vides for a pri­mary sur­plus of 3 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct after this year’s 1.8 per­cent. De­spite pres­sure by the coun­try’s cred­i­tors, who have es­ti­mated a 2015 fis­cal gap of as much as 3.6 bil­lion euros, the gov­ern­ment in­sists its forecasts are right and says it will not adopt any new aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

The first bud­get draft had pro­vided for a 2.9 per­cent pri­mary sur­plus for next year against a 3 per­cent tar­get seen in the midterm fis­cal plan, which the fi­nal draft now chimes with.

The changes in­tro­duced from the first draft con­cern the con­tain­ment of lo­cal au­thor­ity spend­ing so as to meet the midterm plan’s tar­gets, speed­ing up the re­struc­tur­ing of state cor­po­ra­tions, and im­prov­ing the bud­get re­sults by bring­ing en­ti­ties such as the Thes­sa­loniki Pub­lic Trans­port Or­ga­ni­za­tion into the gov­ern­ment sec­tor.

Min­istry of­fi­cials say that th­ese mea­sures com­bined with other in­ter­ven­tions to non­salary costs have been grouped and for­warded to the cred­i­tors’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives for ap­proval. It is es­ti­mated that th­ese ac­tions could bring in as much as 1 bil- lion euros, thereby en­sur­ing the achieve­ment of the fis­cal tar­get for 2015.

The pre­cise value of this group of mea­sures is be­ing ne­go­ti­ated with the cred­i­tors, who are ex­am­in­ing the ac­tions and their im­pact. Once they have com­pleted their study, they are ex­pected to is­sue their re­vised es­ti­mate on next year’s fis­cal gap.

Of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the ne­go­ti­a­tions with the cred­i­tors say that the lat­ter are re­assess­ing the im­pact of the re­cent gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tions, such as the set­tle­ment of cor­po­rate and house­hold debts, and con­sider the es­ti­mate for the gap to be be­low 3.6 bil­lion euros after all.

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