"The benefit of not taking strict restrictive measures is higher than the cost of some parts of the economy not working properly”, said the Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras when asked to comment on today's announcements from the Minister of Health regarding the unvaccinated part of the population. He pointed out that "a lockdown is not a choice of the government. It has costs for both the real economy and public finances. We continue to persuade the rest of society to be vaccinated. But at the same time we must take concrete measures to ensure the fastest return to normality in terms of private and public security. "
Speaking on SKAI TV, he was then asked about the economic cost of preventing unvaccinated people from visiting restaurants and cinemas, the minister said that "any restriction on the proper functioning of the economy has a cost to the economy. He added, however, that "on the other hand, one should measure the cost of not operating this part of the economy at all, due to much stricter restrictive measures."
Staikouras went on to say that today 2nd payment to fire victims will be made, with 6.7 million euros being distributed.
The Minister added that the freezing of the solidarity contribution for the private sector, the reduction of insurance contributions by 3 points and the reduction of the corporate tax from 24% to 22% has been locked in for 2022. He left open the possibility of an announcement being made from the Thessaloniki trade fair regarding the additional freezing of the solidarity contribution in the public sector and the further reduction of ENFIA.
He said: "We want to improve the disposable income of citizens and we must continue to strengthen the reduction of taxes and levies, which depends on the fiscal space in the coming years. If there is extra space, and I am optimistic that there will be, we will discuss with the prime minister further reductions in taxes and social security contributions."
Asked about the growth rate this year, he reiterated that for the time being the budget forecast for 3.6% remains, adding that "this is realistic, feasible and probably conservative."
Any changes in to the GDP forecast will be reflected in the draft of the new budget in early October, based on the latest data, but also the announcements of Greece's statistics service on September 7 regarding the second quarter of the year.