22 May, 2006
Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis strenuously defended the government's high-profile policy of mild economic adjustment, in a newspaper interview carried in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily “Ethnos".
He emphasized that savings of 1.7-1.9 billion euros in 2007 as a primary target for the government's economic team.
"We already have tangible results. The deficit has been decreased to 4.5 percent of GDP in 2005 and this year it will fall below 3 percent," the minister said.
Alogoskoufis further noted that "our target is to maintain these percentages and we shall do this in an environment of development, while at the same time promoting social priorities."
Lastly, Alogoskoufis said "the strategy of mild adjustment, which was disputed by many but whose results have been vindicated absolutely, will continue. The aim is to restrict the increase in expenditures even more and this will take place in an environment of development for the rest of the economy..."
Annual OECD session on Monday: Meanwhile, the annual ministerial session of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will begin here on Monday, with the session of particular interest to Greece, as the country is holding the organization’s chairmanship this year.
Alogoskoufis was due to arrive in Paris on Sunday, within the framework of the session's Greek presidency, while Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is also expected to arrive on Monday to chair the session.
The main topic to be examined at this year's ministerial session is entitled "strengthening prosperity worldwide."
The decision concerning Greece's chairmanship had been taken unanimously by the OECD's board last July. The previous chairmanship held by Greece was in 1976.
Source: Athens News Agency