Greek government: Growth forecasts stand at 1.2 percent of GDP for 2015

The Finance ministry’s reform list which was made public –but was not leaked by the Greek side – is being read selectively resulting in the misinterpretation of the government’s fiscal targets, government sources said on Thursday noting that any list is a “working document” and not an agreement.

The sources added that the Finance ministry’s growth forecasts stand at 1.4 percent of GDP for 2015 and 2.9 percent for 2016, stressing that any measures that will be agreed will not be recessionary ones and will aim at expanding the tax base so as to prevent the burdening of specific social groups – salary earners, pensioners and generally the middle class.

Reiterating that the Finance Ministry’s list is a “working document”, the same sources estimated that the new measures – if all of them are successfully implemented – can result in a 4.7-6.1 billion euro fiscal benefit. Noting that no measure has ever fully paid off, they added that if there is an above 1.5 percent surplus, this obviously will not be directed to the ‘black hole’ of the debt, since the Eurogroup decision on February 20 has been very specific: the obligation for extremely high surpluses is now a thing of the past. Therefore, if we achieve surpluses higher than the commitments (1.2 -1.5 pct), these will be returned to social groups that tragically experience the consequences of the crisis through the implementation of the government’s policy announcements, the sources said.

They also noted that if the basic scenario is a primary surplus of 1.2-1.5 percent of GDP and if the measures pay off, the extra surplus will be allocated to social action. Moreover, they reminded of a statement made by government sources on the issue on March 27, 2015 under which “The Programme has been worked-out and priced, forecasting a 1.5 percent of GDP primary surplus for 2015” and “revenues of 3 billion euros that will not come from cutbacks in wages, pensions or lump sums.”

They also noted that the Uniform Real Estate Ownership Tax (ENFIA) will be abolished within 2015 and replaced by the Large Property Tax, while the new tax law, which will include a 12,000 tax-free threshold for 2015 income that will be declared in 2016, will be tabled in parliament