Greece Passes 2014 “Growth” Budget



Samaras_budgetIn a post-midnight vote, the Greek Parliament approved the government’s incomplete 2014 budget in the early morning hours of Dec. 8 as expected with the ruling coalition lawmakers following orders how to vote, passing the disputed fiscal blueprint by 153-142, hoping it would speed release of a delayed one billion euro ($1.37 billion) installment from international lenders.

A deputy who was a former minister from the ruling conservative New Democracy party was absent and three MPs from the extreme-right Golden Dawn party, including its leader, could not vote, because they have been jailed pending trial charged with membership in a criminal organization.

“We’re getting our fiscal economics in order and we’re fixing fundamental long-term imbalances in our economy,” Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told lawmakers before the vote. “We’re not just winning the battle to reform, we’re winning the battle to become competitive and standing on our own feet.”

He didn’t say how nor did he address a looming hole in the budget of as much as 2.9 billion euros ($3.45 billion) identified by the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank that is putting up $325 billion in two bailouts but has demanded harsh austerity in return.

The 2014 budget scaled down an economic contraction prediction for 2013 from 4.5 percent to 4 percent while forecasting a 0.6-percent growth for 2014 without providing details how that could happen during a six-year-long recession with record unemployment and 20 percent of the populace pushed into poverty while delays continue in privatization and other reforms insisted upon by the Troika.

Dismissing criticism of opposition parties and labor unions of “a road map to destruction,” he stressed that the budget’s forecast that Greece would post a 2.9-billion-euro primary surplus in 2014 would become a reality, “proving populists wrong.”

Samaras said his government, which includes the PASOK Socialists, had exceeded four of five major targets it had set this year, coming up short only on unemployment, which remains stuck above 27%. But he said, there were “revolutionary” developments in 2013, such as a small primary surplus of 800 million euros and a current account surplus, both for the first time in decades.

The budget also forecast an extra 2.1 billion euros in tax revenue and a 3.1-billion-euro cut in state spending even though revenue collections are far off projections despite big tax hikes that have come along with big pay cuts and slashed pensions.


16 COMMENTS

  1. What German money-omg just go hire an economist to teach you some stuff, i cant read at ur laughable comments

  2. Greece 2013 has 5,725,000 taxpayers. Government’s projected revenue target (HAHA) 19.5 billion. Self employed to lose 5,000 euro exemption others to lose 2,100 euro on income up to 21,000 and thereafter 100 euro lost for every 1000 euro of income. Total jump income taxes for 2014: 11.5%, not including all other taxes and fees that have been increased. It looks like Samaras has kept his promise no new austerity, just more poverty.

  3. Samaras isn’t perfect but he isn’t to blame for the current economic problems. He has been taking necessary measures to balance budgets (which required both raising taxes and cutting services).

    Keep in mind that we were wildly overspending while not producing much. We were living off credit. Blaming our current situation only on politicians would not only be unfair but also untrue. A country’s economy is built by the efforts of citizens not just a few politicians. If we forget this and wait around for the government (with limited resources) to fix things, things will remain unfixed.

    In addition what serious alternative do we currently have but Samaras? Communists? GD? Both of those groups would be a disaster. Fascist rhetoric within GD leadership would lead to Greece eventually being bombed. Treasonous Syriza running our country would lead to it being flooded with illegals and recognition of FYROM (why the Skopian “ancient Macedonian” VMRO supporters love the fools in Syriza but hate far leftists in their own country)

    We have to rally around moderation for the sake of our country. Supporting extremists in the wings, which is effectively what only complaining about the government achieves, only risks conflict among us (which all the Greek haters would love to see)

  4. Is anyone surprised by Dablis ranting about our government?

    This is the same Dablis that calls border violating criminals that fire AK-47 at our police “undocumented migrants”.

  5. Moderation? Who’s moderation, ND’s? These are real taxes not make believe. They will further dampen spending, stifle growth and drive investors away. So now we are expected to support ND because they are the less predisposed to be corrupted than the other parties? History has yet to be written on this chapter but it will not be kind to Samaras and his politburo style. He had every opportunity to make substantive reforms and instead chose the path of least resistance, not accomplishing very much that cannot be reversed in the next administration. His excuses are no longer convincing to the Greek people and it seems also to the Troika.

  6. Plenty of other Greeks support Samaras. This is why he’s PM. The ones that tend to strongly opposed to him are communists (i.e. Syriza, KKE), gd supporters, anarchists and any foreigners that are extremely antihellenic (e.g. Skopians hate him). Having enemies like that os just one more reason to like Samaras.

    However, I like to keep an open mind for options if there is one. Whom do you suggest we support in lew of ND that currently has a chance of winning an election?

  7. Samaras has not chosen “the path of least resistance”. In fact, unlike prior unprinciple ND admistrations, he has done the exact opposite. He’s resisted the massive number of irresponsible populists that seem to believe government is some sort of endless piggy bank for them to sponge off. (in particular the communists but not exclusively so)

  8. “So now we are expected to support ND because they are the less predisposed to be corrupted than the other parties? ”

    Absolutely yes. We have to be pragmatic about our situation. Samaras is by no means perfect. I strongly disagree with his soft stance of illegal immigration. However, if I only complain about him, I would be effectively handing the election to Syriza. (which will be far far worse)

    During WW2 the allies, who hated communists, still had the common sense to align themselves with the communists against Hitler. Hitler on the other hand created an additional front against Germany. When it comes to international politics to win, one has to make allies not alienate everyone.

  9. I could not help but notice Samaras’ hand gesture of an anatomical body part towards the 142 MPs that voted against the budget.

  10. There is no one yet as we have been settling for mediocre politicians backed by nepotism and patronage. As this time only a coalition seems the electable choice. ND however has managed to isolate themselves from the others and no amount of pressure on GD or SYRIZA will alleviate the circumstances they placed themselves into. By May we will have a good indication where the fortunes of ND will be.

  11. Hitler also hated and prosecuted communists in Germany but made a treaty with Stalin and let us not forget both countries Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland. On June 22, 1941 all that changed with the fortunes of war and politics.

  12. Greece sounds like a great place..according to Mr Samaras..
    He must be living in different country and walks down different streets than the people who voted for him..

  13. That’s really not saying anything. ND and Syriza has also isolated themselves from other Greeks. We are political divided. In the end, if we toss out ND all we would effectively be doing is voting for communist Tsipiras (the same man that admires treasonous communists that massacred Greeks during civil war)

    GD will almost certainly be banned eventually (even it survived for the next election it would have only a minority of vote). We essentially have to choose between Syriza and ND. ND is hands down the better option. Illegals, VMRO, current Turkish regime and other Greek haters are hoping we vote for Syriza (why are the foreigners that rant about Greeks here also rant about Samaras). It’s not because they have good intentions towards us.

  14. Greece is a great place…. according to most Greeks. While our economy is currently in the toilet this isn’t because of a single man (populist nonsense). It was a group effort. Our government isn’t perfect but it is making changes in an attempt to work towards balanced budgets . Unfortunately some of the people always complaining about our government are used to living off the government. They don’t want to change.