The row between Staikouras and Tsakalotos sealed today’s discussion of the tax bill in the House Finance Committee. “We take responsibility for our choices. We have no delusions or illusions like the previous government did”, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said, with ex-minister Euclid Tsakalotos responding: “We thank the government that has now come to our calculations and put another 200 million euros to ENFIA. This means that any failure next year will be ND’s”.
Staikouras assured, however, that fruitful proposals submitted by the parties will be examined and incorporated, while he added: “Since June, after the outcome of the European elections, we have been restoring the credibility of the country. We will move on to remove capital controls. Population was tried in practice and failed miserably. The Greeks have shown the door to populism. And the first tax bill is symbolically and essentially a new beginning”.
At the same time, he spoke of a substantial ideological difference between ND and SYRIZA in terms of budgetary space, prompting the reaction of former SYRIZA Minister of Finance and Parliamentary Representative Euclid Tsakalotos.
“For those who want to see the truth, the reality in the implementation of our economic proposal has a positive sign. The times of easy and illusory hallucinations have come to an end. The new era started with positive messages reflected in Greek government treasury bills and interest rates”, Staikouras emphasized, while citing among other things the market’s positive reaction with the 7-year bond’s lower interest rate issuance.
Responding to former Finance Minister and SYRIZA’s parliamentary spokesman Euclid Tsakalotos, who accused ND of not saying anything about which was ultimately the fiscal space for 2019, Mr. Staikouras argued that “what ND was saying is that we think the forecasts of the state’s general accounting department are correct, and we have voted on the measures you have brought”.
E. Tsakalotos: ND after the elections understood that we were right
“Mr. Stournaras said the deficit was 0.7%. ND after the elections understood that were the ones who were right and not Mr. Stournaras. We thank the government that has now come to our calculations and put another 200 million euros to ENFIA. This means that any failure next year will be ND’s. They will not say we derailed the budget”, Mr. Tsakalotos stressed.
Still, the former finance minister has voiced the opposition of his party for those who own large real estate of more than 500,000 and one million euros to benefit from the same tax cuts.
“If you tell citizens that those who have a million euro-worth of real estate belong to the medium strata they will laugh. Our view is that something else could be done for (properties) more than 500,000 and 1 million euros. We say that this money could be more developmental and fair”, Mr. Tsakalotos pointed out./ibna