Greek parliament approves austere budget for 2016
Dec 08, 2015 The Greek parliament recently approved the 2016 budget, which featured sharp cuts in government expenditure and increased taxes.
The budget saw a 5.7 billion euros reduction in public spending, with 1.8 billion drop in pensions and 500 million from defense.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ led administration has been under pressure to deliver tangible benefits to its citizens, after being signed up for a third rescue package from the euro zone governments in August.
While addressing lawmaker, Prime minster Tsipras said:
“This budget plan is a difficult task for us, being a government that wants to leave its mark with social justice and redistribution of resources during a period of economic austerity and hardship. Behind the numbers of our budget, one can see the struggle to support workers and the more vulnerable members of society,”
Tsipras’ coalition majority reduced last month, after two lawmakers rebelled against a set of reforms demanded by lenders. This has raised questions about his ability to push through a more ambitious long-term reform of the country’s complex and underfunded pension system.
Commenting on the budget, Conservative New Democracy’s interim leader, Yannis Plakiotakis said:
“This budget plan is not realistic, it won’t work and does not inspire trust. It will be impossible to implement, it’s illogical, socially unjust and doomed to fail. It strangles anyone who produces anything in this country with taxes, and it lessens working-class incomes and pensions,”
Representatives of the euro zone, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund recently converged in Greece to further deliberate on pending reforms in the pension and tax systems.