FinMin Staikouras: Greek economy to grow by 4.2 pct in 2021

The Greek economy will grow by 4.2 pct this year, recovering half of its 2020 losses, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday. In comments made to Parapolitika FM radio, Staikouras said that the government’s economic team operates not only with a base scenario in mind, but also the adverse scenario. In this framework, the strategy was to support society as much as possible, he said, adding that “there are actions that are adjusted, depending on the healthcare crisis’ dynamic”.

The finance minister said that submission of this year’s income declarations will begin shortly “if not this week, maybe next week” and that the ministry will announced the timetable for submission and completion of this process, along with the number of payment tranches, discounts and tax exemptions. Staikouras said that decisions on whether to preserve a reduced advance tax payment in 2021 will be taken by the summer, depending on fiscal conditions. “We want to preserve this, but it is too soon,” he noted. He said that disbursement of state loans, under round 7 of the repayable advance programme, will be made by the end of April and that the applications submitted so far exceeded 200,000.

Staikouras aknowledged there were difficulties in the road towards disbursement of the advance payment of 4.0 billion euros from the Recovery Fund and said he expected this money to be available by the end of the first half of 2021.