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Commissioner Semeta: Greece will return to economic growth in 2014
European Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud Algirdas Semeta, in Athens on Tuesday, expressed optimism that Greece will return to economic growth in 2014, noting that there are clear indications showing that confidence in the country has increased.
Addressing a joint session of the Greek Parliament's committees on European affairs, economic affairs and institutions & transparency, he acknowledged that a difficult task has been performed both by the Greek authorities and the Greek people, allowing for optimistic forecasts.
Semeta underlined the need to reform the taxation system, noting that it is the most important measure for economic growth and social cohesion. “It should be simple, fair, with a mechanism that can trace and punish those who break the law,” he said, expressing the view that the VAT rate reduction on food sector requested by Greece is not the best choice in solving its problems.
He said that cooperation between the EU's Eurostat and the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) has been fruitful, producing reliable statistics that have been published six times without reservations. He described as “a positive first step” the establishment of the office of a general secretary for public revenues, noting that progress has been made but strong political will is also necessary.
“The issue is to have fair taxation system with zero tolerance for fraud,” he said, adding that the EU Task Force for Greece prepares new taxation codes to be incorporated in the Greek legislation.
Responding to questions by MPs, the European Commissioner said that the European Commission puts pressure on all member-states to tackle the problem of tax havens and underlined that tax evasion should be combated on European and national levels.
Source: Athens News Agency