Greek Finance Minister said the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was wrong in a report which predicted the country’s recession would cointinue for a seventh year in 2014.
The OECD report released on May 29 forecast that the Greek economy would shrink by 4.8 percent this year and 1.2 percent next year.
However, speaking on the sidelines of the OECD ministerial conference in Paris, Stournaras stated: “We disagree with that figure. The European Commission and the International Monetary Fund also disagree with it. I believe this will be proven wrong and we will be right, as I believe that the GDP will be just under +1 percent (next year).”
His view was also backed on by the annual report of the Bank of Greece, which expects Gross Domestic Product to contract 4.6 percent this year followed by growth of 0.6 percent in 2014. Virtually all previous reports on Greece have overestimated its ability to rebound with performances less than predicted.
The OECD further expects unemployment to reach 27.8 percent this year and 28.4 percent in 2014, while the country’s debt is estimated at 175.1 percent of GDP in 2013 and 180.6 percent in 2014. The BoG report sees unemployment stabilizing at 28 percent this year and starting to drop from 2015. It adds that inflation will be in negative territory at -0.3 percent in 2013 and deems a primary surplus very likely at the end of the year.
Meanwhile an inter-party committee comprising members of the three coalition government partners decided to exempt farmers from the single property tax which as of next year will replace the so-called FAP property tax and the extraordinary property levy paid via electricity bills. This means that other property owners will have to shoulder the share of the tax that farmers would have paid from 2014.