Monday, May 25, 2015

Greece: tax revenues were down – The World

Le Monde | • Updated | By

The figures in the Greek state budget for the first four months of the year (January to April) were announced, Monday, May 25 in Athens by the Ministry of Finance. The figure most scrutinized, particularly by the country’s creditors (IMF, Commission and European Central Bank) will undoubtedly be one of the primary balance, that is, before interest payments of debt: in the Here, the accounts of the Greek state are surplus of 2.103 billion euros. There is a year over the same period, the primary surplus was $ 1.046 billion.

This is therefore a priori a good figure. It is mainly due to the strict control of state spending, including freezing the payment of many providers of public services. For two months, in fact, the government is mobilizing its revenue almost exclusively from one side to pay pensions and salaries and other reimbursements to creditors, primarily the IMF. It postpones the regulations to state suppliers.

This partly explains the decline observed expenses. For the first four months of the year, the latter thus amounted to 16.324 billion euros. Either 2.037 billion less than the initial target of 18.361 billion euros.

If the state spends less, at the same time, however, he also acknowledges a decline in tax revenues, which n ‘ is not a good sign. In total 12.221 billion euros were collected from the period, 884 million less than hoped.

According to the Ministry of Finance, direct taxes have suffered from a decline of 11.4% and amounted to 4.869 billion euros, while indirect taxes decreased by 3.4% compared to expected revenues. VAT was particularly hard to go

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While these figures fell, the spokesman of the government Gabriel Sakellaridis said that “to the extent that we will be in a position to pay, we will pay all obligations.” June 5, Athens must repay the IMF 300 million.

This weekend, the Minister of Interior, Nikos Voutsis, said that the country did not have of 1.6 billion euros to be repaid in June the IMF.

Mr. Sakellaridis also reiterated that no capital controls, as could happen in Cyprus at the height of the crisis in 2013, would be implemented.

Mr. Sakellaridis has again confirmed that negotiations with creditors resumed this morning on the four points still not settled: the VAT reform, a change in the context of labor law, reform of social security and the amount of surplus primary for the years 2015 and 2016.

On the latter point, the Greek Government intends that it should not be too high in order to have some financial flexibility.

The European Commission has recently proposed that the primary balance of the Greek budget reaches 0.75% of GDP this year, 2% in 2016 and 3.5% for 2017 and 2018.

Read also: Greece: Mr Tsipras caught between its creditors and its majority


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