World Economy

Greece Needs $90b to Recover

Greece Needs $90b to RecoverGreece Needs $90b to Recover

Greece’s economy needs €80 billion ($90.2 billion) in order to recover and this was secured by the various sources of financing available, Economy, Development and Tourism Minister George Stathakis told the parliament.

The minister was replying to criticism leveled by main opposition New Democracy Vice-President Kostas Hatzidakis during the debate on the government’s draft development law before the parliament plenum, Yahoo quoted Toronos News as saying.

He contradicted Hatzidakis’ claim that the new law only offered €480 million in financing when the country needed 100-120 billion, noting that the money available under the new law, combined with tax exemptions it offers, actually amounted to €3.6 billion. Of this, he added, €2.6 billion would go toward the investment programs of the previous laws.

“Yesterday you said €100 billion [were needed]. Today it’s 120 billion. Make up your mind,” Stathakis told ND’s vice-president, outlining where the €80 billion will come from. “There are the public investments, about €20 billion from the National Strategic Reference Framework, €20 billion from private enterprise and bank loans and the financing tools of the European Investment Bank,” he pointed out.

The government had also reduced the red tape needed to set up a new business and included 42 mature projects in the (EU Commission President Jean-Claude) Juncker plan, the minister repeated.

Hatzidakis also criticized the draft law for failing to provide incentives for new investments but raising obstacles instead, such as restrictions on bank transactions, over-taxation, a freeze on business licenses and public-private partnerships, while absorption of NSRF funds had fallen to a minimal 2%.

Addressing parliament earlier, Stathakis had noted that only 15 billion of a nominal €80 billion in overdue taxpayers’ debt to the state were the actual arrears; the remaining €65 billion were debts owed by companies that have closed or persons dead since the 1980s.