Greek PM unveils economic reforms to attract investors

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during the opening of the annual International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki, Greece September 7, 2019. — Reuters pic
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during the opening of the annual International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki, Greece September 7, 2019. — Reuters pic

THESSALONIKI, Sept 8 — Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced yesterday “audacious reforms” and fiscal measures to attract foreign investment as the country battles back from an unprecedented debt crisis.

Thanks to the reforms, Greece war would regain its credibility that would favour more investment, create new wealth and boost employment, he told the annual Thessaloniki International Fair.

They included a cut in corporate income tax from 28 per cent to 24 per cent and on dividends from 10 per cent to five per cent, he added.

Mitsotakis also pledged to ease tax rates for low wage earners and measures to support the country's large construction sector.

Mitsotakis was elected in July and set a priority of boosting economic growth and investment.

In August he visited France, Germany and the Netherlands to encourage investors there to take up the opportunites being offered by his new conservative government.

Although Greece has begun to recover from a six-year recession and a nearly decade-long debt crisis, the economy remains fragile.

Emerging from its third straight bailout last year, it has a public debt of more than 180 percent of gross domestic product, and remains under strict supervision by its EU and IMF creditors.

They want Greece to pursue economic and fiscal reforms and privatisations and achieve primary budget surpluses - which exclude government debt interest payments — worth 3.5 per cent of GDP in the coming years.

Yesterday, around 8,000 people rallied in Thessaloniki calling for more jobs and lower taxes.

In Brussels on Wednesday, outgoing IMF chief Christine Lagarde said she felt the 3.5 per cent level “is excessive and is putting undue pressure on the recovery of the Greek economy.” — AFP

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