“If I remained as finance minister for the next three to four years, apart from the stability, I would make a new simpler and fairer tax system a personal goal,” Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said in a press conference after his speech at the 20th Capital Link investment forum in New York.
Tsakalotos also referred to his speech at the forum, noting that the main task of the finance ministry in the last three years was to have the framework so that when Greece exited the programme, it could deal with the main challenges of the Greek economy – issues of growth, public health and education.
Asked whether the new tax system will include a larger tax reduction for companies, Tsakalotos said that the prime minister has already announced that the tax on profits will be reduced by 1 pct annually over the next four years.
“The fight against tax evasion, as in all European countries, never ends. It is often an unequal fight, because large companies and banks have many tools and many lawyers and accountants to face any government regulatory initiative,” he noted.
However, he admitted that not all the taxes imposed in the course of the crisis in Greece were just and fair, adding that this needs to be gradually corrected based on the fiscal space that is created.
Tsakalotos said that the fiscal space also allows the government to address the issue of a 2018 heating allowance.
With regard to the acquisition of IMF and ECB loans, he said there will be developments. In his speech at the conference, Tsakalotos stated that the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) will draw up an exit plan for the markets in 2019 that will include the amounts needed and how many times it will take place. In that framework, a plan to repay loans that have a higher interest rate will also be included.
Tsakalotos said that there will be no fiscal surprises this year since it was a very good year.