Critical Budget Day In Greece
Greece has recently been showing some signs of an improving economic situation as growth trickles back into many sectors of the economy, a welcome boost was presented in the form of better than anticipated figures for the important tourism season that is now drawing to a close. Despite this there are a number of long and short term challenges still to be overcome.
Today is a critical day for the government of Antonis Samaras as it prepares to unveil it’s outline budget for the 2015 fiscal year. The Prime Minister last month hinted towards some taxation cuts, particularly in the areas of domestic energy and income taxes. Whatever the budget holds one thing is for sure and that is that it has been hard negotiated. The bail out troika of the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are currently back in the country conducting a scheduled review, the outcome of which could affect Greece’s bail out package.
The country is not yet economically in a position to present a budget that moves away from austerity, there is however more than just economic concerns to be considered. The population has begun to accept the imperative of fiscal rectitude however left of centre opposition parties have been gradually regaining support on their anti austerity platform. The Samaras administration will have to find something to give back in this round in order to remain in power long enough to complete the austerity programme. With this in mind the government has scheduled a confidence motion in itself for later this week, a failure to pass this motion will prompt early elections which would in effect become a referendum on the continuation of austerity. The government’s majority however should be enough to ensure that it survives the upcoming vote of confidence and it is likely that anything given away in today’s budget will be at the behest of wavering government MPs whose support must be cemented ahead of the vote.
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