September Will be Crucial Month For Course of Greek Economy



The Greek Finance Ministry (file photo)

September is considered to be a pivotal month for the Greek economy, regarding both budget figures and contacts with its European partners on the issue of fiscal targets and the implementation of reforms.

The first important date is September 4, when ELSTAT, the EU’s statistical authority, will release the provisional data on GDP growth for the second quarter of 2019. It is noted that the growth rate of the Greek economy in the first quarter of this year was 1.3 percent.

On September 5, the Euro Working Group will meet with Michalis Argyrou, who is Greece’s new representative and the President of the Council of Economic Experts. Argyrou is slated to give a presentation to the EU member on the means by which Greece will implement its new budget and the new government’s plan for the entire economy.

He will also give an overview of the progress already made in Greece on key prerequisites for the post-bailout period.

On September 7, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will give a major speech outlining the government’s economic policy at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). On the 13th of the month, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras will be in Helsinki, Finland to participate in an informal Eurogroup session.

On September 16, the technical cadres of Greece’s lenders are expected to arrive in Athens, and just one week later, on the 23rd of the month, financial leaders will gather together for an evaluation of results from the fourth post-bailout program.

The 2020 budget and this Autumn’s proposed tax legislation are expected to be of particular importance to the leaders. This bill (including tax cuts for businesses) may be brought forth in Parliament with the preliminary draft budget for 2020 on October 7, or even in November, along with the final text of next year’s state budget.

According to the Athens – Macedonian News Agency (AMNA), there is a solid optimism about Greece’s economy, both in terms of revenues and expenditures. After a significant increase in revenues in July, all eyes are shifting to September, when the first installment of the reduced single property tax (ENFIA) and the second installment of income tax are due.

Greece’s Minister of Finance has already mentioned that the expansion of the tax base (which increases revenue) could be achieved by enhancing electronic transactions, mandatory electronic invoicing, maintaining electronic books, and the strengthening of control mechanisms.