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June 15, 2021

Greece returns to growth

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Saturday said the first signs of growth were emerging in Greece, as the economy was expected to expand in the third quarter for the first time in eight years, iol.co.za informs. In a speech in the northern port city of Thessaloniki to launch the International Trade Fair, Samaras said that “although the debt is still high” it will soon be deemed sustainable. Europe’s statistics agency Eurostat has estimated that Greece’s debt in 2013 exceeded EUR 318 billion or 175.1 per cent of economic output, up from EUR 304 billion in 2012. “The debt has started to ease marginally and the drop will soon be greater when measured against gross domestic product,” Samaras added. The prime minister promised a number of tax breaks, including a 30-per-cent reduction im the taxation of heating oil, in a bid to win over austerity weary citizens and boost low approval ratings of his coalition government. He also said changes to a controversial yearly property tax, which would be based on property values from before the start of the crisis were underway. Samaras also said he would establish a development fund to help small-and medium-sized companies as well as cut electricity prices for industries. Samaras announced the measures without the final seal of approval by the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) creditors, the Greek daily Kathimerini said.

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