PM: 2010 Budget lays Foundations for Recovery - The Best from Greece

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Posted on: 06/Nov/2009

Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday presented the 2010 budget drawn up by Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou to his cabinet, stressing that this would lay the foundations for the country's economic recovery.

"We are beginning to carry out all that we promised before the elections," the prime minister stressed, saying that the draft 2010 budget put together in just one month after the elections that brought the party to power was a "serious" budget that took into account the true capabilities of the country and made "a break with the past".

More specifically, he referred to an end of phenomena of corruption, waste and the frittering of public money in pursuit of client politics that he said had taken on "the proportions of an epidemic in recent years".

Papandreou said that the method for drawing up the budget would be changed from the following year, while noting that the 2010 budget represented a decisive step toward the future and insisting that the government would not renege on its pre-election pledges nor back down from its target of redistributing income, even though the true state of the economy had proved to be much worse than that presented by the previous New Democracy government before the elections.

The prime minister said the draft budget aimed to stimulate the market and economic activity, as well as employment, while also including measures against high prices. It would be accompanied by a full and realistic recording of statistical figures on the economy and a new taxation system marked by transparency, a just distribution of the tax burden and correct investment of the Greek tax-payer's money.

The government's aim was to strike at tax evasion but also instill a tax conscience among the public, Papandreou added, listing as the government's goals the protection of poorer social groups, a stimulus of small and medium-sized enterprises and the market and regaining the trust of Greece's EU partners and international markets.

"In other words, to make Greece believe in itself again," he said.

Papandreou also underlined that PASOK had succeeded in shattering the myth that nothing can change in Greece through the changes in the structure of the government, which he described as "historic", pointing out that these had also attracted the attention of visited United Nations chief Ban Ki Moon, who had referred to them in his speech.



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