''The Greek economy has proved to be very resilient in the last few years despite successive crises, and several times exceeded forecasts," National Economy and Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said on Tuesday. Speaking after tabling the 2024 budget to Parliament, Hatzidakis stressed that the Greek economy obtained an investment grade rating in 2023, recorded the third highest growth rate in the EU, reduced unemployment to pre-crisis levels and despite successive natural disasters it achieved a primary surplus that surpassed forecasts. At the same time, it significantly reduced public debt as a percentage of GDP and without raising taxes it recorded a 9.1% increase in budget revenue.
He stressed that the government will follow the same path in 2024 as well, combining fiscal stability with development policies and social sensitivity. The budget envisages higher growth rates, lower inflation, lower public debt and higher employment rates, combined with producing a primary surplus of 2.1%. Hatzidakis noted that investments will grow by 15.1% in 2024 as a result of combination of private and public investments. The budget integrates permanent tax cuts but its main goal is to further reduce tax evasion. The tax gap has fallen from 23% in 2018 to 15% this year and the goal is to reach 9% in 2026. The government also aims to have an effective social policy by raising wages and pensions, as well as the tax-free allowance for families with children, in addition to other social benefits. Spending on education and health will rise by 255 million and 481 million euros, respectively, with these funds derived mainly from combatting tax evasion.
"What I want to underline is that the government will implement a policy combining fiscal stability with social sensitivity. Effectiveness with fairness. The Greek economy will climb even higher in 2024. We remain on the road of responsibility, taking all necessary actions for the modernisation of the economy to benefit our weaker fellow citizens," Hatzidakis said.
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