World Economy

Easing Greece’s Fiscal Targets Will Boost Growth

Easing Greece’s Fiscal Targets Will Boost GrowthEasing Greece’s Fiscal Targets Will Boost Growth

Greece’s international lenders should lower the country’s fiscal targets from 2021 onwards to help boost its growth potential, central bank governor Yannis Stournaras said on Saturday.

Stournaras told an economic forum in Delphi that primary surplus targets—excluding debt servicing costs—should be lowered to 2% of gross domestic product from 2021 onwards from 3.5% that is now envisaged, Reuters reported.

“The easing of the primary surplus targets, together with the implementation of the agreed structural reforms, would put the necessary conditions in place for a gradual lowering of tax rates, with positive multiplier effects on economic growth,” he said.

Stournaras said this would help Greece shift its policy from raising taxes—a main pillar of the country’s fiscal adjustment since 2010 which stifles growth and encourages tax evasion and undeclared employment—to spending.

Athens and its international lenders resumed talks on Tuesday, aiming to conclude soon a review of bailout reforms that is a key to the inclusion of Greece’s debt in the ECB’s bond-buying scheme and its return to financial markets.

The review has dragged on for months, mainly due to a rift between the European Union and the International Monetary Fund over Greece’s fiscal goals next year, when the current rescue program expires, and beyond.

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