Stournaras proposes lower fiscal targets; renewed emphasis on reforms, privatizations

7 February 2017
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Bank of Greece (BoG) governor Yannis Stournaras on Monday emphasized that the Greek debt is not a coincidental problem but rather a symptom of a series of accumulated structural problems.

Speaking during an event in Parliament’s senate chamber, the influential central banker reminded that the BoG steadfastly supports a reduction in fiscal targets demanded by creditors of Greece after 2018. He specifically proposed a reduction of the 3.5-percent primary budget surplus target to drop to 2 percent, as a percentage of GDP, annually. Conditions attached to the decrease, Stournaras said, could be a renewed commitment to implement reforms, and to allocate the surplus towards growth-oriented investments.

The former finance minister, in the preceding governments before leftist SYRIZA assumed power in January 2015, also said privatizations must be accelerated in the country in order to reduce austerity.

He spoke at a book presentation organized by Parliament’s independent Budget Office, with the edition entitled “Greece’s Public Debt”.

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