By Spiros Sideris – Athens
The immediate reduction of taxation and borrowing costs, and the emergency support of the production of greek products and exports, with concrete commitments from the government, even in September, requested by Antonis Samaras the productive bodies of Northern Greece during their meeting in view of the TIF.
“We asked to be addressed as a priority by the government in September certain issues, such as providing liquidity, reducing taxes and energy costs, as well as operating expenses and aid for regional industry”, said after the meeting, the chairman of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE), Athanasios Savvakis.
During the meeting, discussion also revolved around institutional issues for the industry, such as its restructuring to the greek region, the pursuit of sectoral policies, the immediate implementation and monitoring of strict construction standards and materials in public buildings – schools, and the introduction of the concept of “partnership” in the new ESPA, without the inclusion of institutions from the region.
The president of the Association of Exporters of Northern Greece (seve), Kyriakos Loufakis commented on the declining greek export activity in the past year, attributing it to the lack of liquidity and working capital and the high cost of money.
He added that the situation is complicated by the reduced competitiveness, due to factors such as “high taxes at all levels, the still high non-wage costs, the high energy costs and the total cost of bureaucracy”.
He asked to prioritize the elimination or reduction of charges relating to the production and processing of tradable goods, while reiterating SEBBE’s request for the immediate introduction of a single tax rate.
To finally put an end “to the excessive taxation and the relentless austerity”, the president of the Chamber of Crafts of Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, asked for “Immediate measures that are not based on over-taxation. Otherwise, the cycle of continuing recession will be repeated with its victims being the businesses and jobs”, he said stressing that there is need for a change in the economic policy that applies to decisions within the greek government, “which will not emanate from commitments to its partners and lenders of”.
Regarding the port of Thessaloniki, he said that it should immediately be granted – not sold, to investors specialized in port facilities/functions.