Friday, September 10, 2010

Greek Prime Minister Set to Make Small Concessions

Wall Street Journal
September 9, 2010

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is expected to make a major annual policy announcement on Saturday that could offer some concessions to groups hit hard by austerity.

The measures could include a small assistance package for vulnerable households, certain private-sector funding subsidies and a cut in corporate taxes.

The speech will take place at the International Trade Fair on Saturday afternoon in the northern city of Thessalonica.

Despite very tight fiscal conditions after Greece's agreement to cut its 2010 budget deficit to 8.1% of gross domestic product last year's from 13.6%, the prime minister is likely to announce support measures for low-income pensioners, the handicapped and families with more than three young children.

Political analysts said they expect the largely token and low-cost measures to be incorporated to defuse public anger over wage and pension cuts as well as hikes to value-added and excise taxes, which have hit local voters hard.


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