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20 June, 1997
An economic committee's report released yesterday recommends wage increases of 4 per cent in 1998 and 3.5 per cent in 1999 in order to bring inflation down to 2.5 and 2 per cent, respectively.
The report also calls for a reduction in indirect taxation, and limited public utility rate increases.
Prepared by a committee headed by Professor Yiannis Spraos and commissioned by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, the report also calls for the levying of a "one-off" 10 per cent tax on company incomes or, alternatively, a lump sum contribution, at the same rate, to a fund dealing with labor issues.
Mr. Spraos stressed that the government must seek a consensus of social partners in the application of the report's recommendations, although in case this is not obtained, the government must make it clear it will remain on its inflation target, "even if its attainment without consensus is more painful". He also insisted that the government must consistently apply the program for privatization or liquidation of ailing state-controlled enterprises.
Premier Simitis described the economic report as "a central reference point for discussions on inflation and incomes."
Source: Athens News Agency