New Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, who was handed one of the more closely scrutinized portfolios in the Mitsotakis government, on Monday estimated that real GDP growth in the country for the first quarter of 2019 reached only 1.3 percent, compared to Q1 2018.
In unveiling the government’s policy statements in Parliament ahead of a vote of confidence later on Monday evening, Staikouras promised a re-evaluation of all state spending, investments and projects and a strict adherence to tabled budgets.
He also promised no more “excessive” primary budget surpluses, as a percentage of annual GDP, saying this was the product of over-taxation in the country, with the result being a ballooning figure of arrears owed to the state – reaching 104 billion euros today, up 46 percent from 2014.
Moreover, he echoed Kyriakos Mitsotakis in saying an immediate cut in the property tax rate will come in September 2019, with the median reduction being 22 percent.
For owners of extensive property holds, which number nearly 15,000 in the country, the reduction will be 10 percent.
Both Staikouras and Mitsotakis have reiterated that the new Greek government will remain committed to meeting fiscal target agreed to by the previous Tsipras government with European creditors.