Stournaras urges EU to bring debt relief measures
Central Bank Governor Yannis Stournaras said Greece’s European partners must urgently outline debt relief measures to help boost economic recovery and facilitate its return to financial markets in 2018. European partners promised earlier this year to specify debt relief measures to make Greece’s public debt, the highest in the eurozone, sustainable. But the “envisaged long-term public debt management measures have not been specified yet,” Stournaras told an EU-Arab summit in Athens on Thursday. “Urgent action is warranted on the specification and quantification of the foreseen debt relief measures,” he said in a speech. “This will en- hance the credibility and acceptance of the policies pursued, thereby helping to further consolidate confidence, strengthen economic recovery, lower the tax burden and facilitate the return to financial markets after the end of the program.” Stournaras reiterated that Greece’s economy is expected to grow by 2.5 percent next year and by 3 percent in 2018, as long as Athens speeds up reforms and privatizations agreed with its official lenders under its third international bailout.
September data showed a huge increase in value-added tax takings from popular island destinations on the target set by the budget, with revenues from Myconos (pictured) exceeding the target by 253 percent, from Rhodes by 238.5 percent, from Zakynthos by 132.5 percent and from Corfu by 92.4 percent. equality poses a growing threat to longterm development, a report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Thursday. The new “Transition” report highlighted how its core region has achieved an impressive amount of income convergence with advanced economies since the late 1990s. A so-called “happiness gap” had finally closed with Western European citizens in the EBRD’s latest survey, although this convergence partly reflected a decline in happiness in advanced economies. The report also found the transition had various effects. Political turmoil and price liberalization entailed significant deprivation, while generations that grew up during the peak of the changes were found to be over 1 cm shorter on average. “When income is controlled for, satisfaction levels among residents of post-communist countries are now similar to those of their Western European peers – and even higher than those of people in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey,” the report said.
VAT takings soar on islands.