The Greek economy even higher


The Minister of National Economy and Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis, accompanied by the Deputy Minister of National Economy and Finance, Athanasios Petralia, today presented the State Budget for 2024 to the Parliament.

On the matter, the Minister Mr. Hatzidakis made the following statement: “I submitted the State Budget for 2024, as well as its introductory report, to the Parliament a little while ago. What are the key elements highlighted by this Budget:

  1. The Greek economy has proven to be particularly resilient in recent years despite successive crises, often exceeding forecasts. Indeed, in 2023 Greece achieved investment grade from a number of international rating agencies, recorded the third highest growth rate in the European Union, reduced unemployment to pre-crisis levels, while achieving, despite successive natural disasters, a primary surplus that exceeded forecasts of the medium-term programme. And these with a very significant reduction in public debt as a percentage of GDP. These positive developments are concentrated in the fact that without increasing taxes there was an increase in revenue by 9.1%.
  2. In 2024 we will proceed with basically the same recipe. In other words, we will seek to combine fiscal stability with development policies, social sensitivity in practice. The budget envisages higher growth rates than this year, lower inflation, an even greater reduction in public debt and higher employment rates. I note that all this will be achieved by staying absolutely committed to the target of an even higher primary surplus than this year (2.1%).
  3. I particularly emphasize the positive developments for investments. This year we had an investment increase of 7.1%, while in 2024 an increase of 15.1% is foreseen in the budget plan. This will be achieved through a combination of private and public investment, including of course increased investment from the NSRF and the Recovery Fund.
  4. The Budget incorporates permanent tax relief in 7 different ways. However, our parallel goal for 2024 is the further reduction of tax evasion. Already the empty VAT, i.e. the money lost by the state from the collection of VAT, has been reduced from 23% in 2018 to 15% this year. The goal is to further reduce this gap and reach 9% in 2026. In the meantime, we are promoting actions at many and different levels to limit tax evasion: connection of POS with cash registers in the first months of 2024, mandatory my Data system, generalization of electronic invoicing, new arrangements for short-term rentals, measures to tackle smuggling and a new fair tax system for the self-employed.
  5. It goes without saying that the government’s main goal in 2024 is to implement a meaningful social policy. In this direction, there will be salary increases for civil servants after 14 years, a new increase in pensions, an increase in the tax-free allowance for families with children, as well as an increase in disability allowances and the social solidarity allowance.

Also important in the direction of a meaningful social policy is the increase in spending on education and health. Specifically for Health there will be a 20% increase in hospital funding totaling 481 million euros, as well as an increase in Education spending of 255 million euros. These funds will come in a very large percentage from the further limitation of tax evasion.

What I want to underline is that the government will implement a policy that combines fiscal seriousness with social sensitivity. Efficiency with justice. In 2024, the Greek economy will rise even higher! We stay on the path of responsibility by making all those modernization cuts that our economy needs and that benefit our socially weak fellow citizens in particular.”

Deputy Minister Mr. Petralias made the following statement: “The 2024 Budget is the first after 13 years to be drawn up with the dignity of the country having recovered its investment grade. This is primarily an achievement of Greek society, but also our responsibility to meet the expectations of the citizens with appropriate policies to their benefit, preserving in any case the fiscal balance that the country has achieved.

The Indicative Report of the 2024 Budget confirms the figures of the primary surplus, 1.1% for 2023 and 2.1% for 2024, which were foreseen in the Draft Budget, while it includes all the measures that have been announced before the elections to be implemented in 2023 and 2024, the measures announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair, as well as additional support measures announced recently. In this context, the 2024 Budget includes permanent income support interventions amounting to 1.6 billion euros for 2024.

The texts submitted to parliament also include the Performance Budget, where for the information of the citizens and the parliament, detailed information is provided on the expenditures of each Ministry by Program, the objectives of each program using quantitative indicators of the achievement of objectives, while the Green Budgeting (Green Budgeting) is introduced ) for the first time for all Ministries, presenting the positive or negative impact of each program on the environment. In addition, the introductory report includes a relevant chapter on the effect of fiscal interventions on inequality indicators, which are decreasing.

We continue to implement the program for which the citizens elected the Government, now implementing the Great Changes that the country needs. Changes in the field of tax evasion, in shielding the country against the economic consequences of climate change, in strengthening health, but also in the basic mandate of society to increase disposable income”.

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