Samaras: no more austerity measures this autumn

Prime minister pledges to 'keep rejecting' more austerity

In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, Antonis Samaras claims that 'general course of Greece's economy is not disputed by anyone'

Antonis Samaras (AMNA) Antonis Samaras (AMNA) The prime minister has flatly denied that more austerity measures will be taken in September but underlined that the country must achieve a primary surplus in order to guarantee continued support from its European partners.

"We'll just keep rejecting [new measures]," Antonis Samaras said in an interview with a Sunday newspaper.

The New Democracy leader told Proto Thema that the "general course of Greece's economy is not disputed by anyone".

He claimed that he was continuing to seek a reduction in VAT, from 23% to 13%, in the food and restaurant sector.

He added that he was introducing a luxury tax one year earlier than planned in order to avoid making cuts to military officers’ salaries and pensions and imposing a 0.2% tax on companies.

Samaras said he believed taxpayers' money should be well spent, and not just on recruiting the wrong people in the wrong way to the civil service.

"My priority are the 1.5m unemployed [which are] viewed by most as a mere statistic," he said.

Turning to Golden Dawn, he said there were two problems with "neonazis" without explicitly referring to the party as such: "With respect to Greece, they are illegal peddlers of patriotism because they admire their worst oppressors this country has ever seen in this country. The second problem is that they vilify the country! They are not simply extreme rightwingers, but avowed neonazis that represent what the rest of Europe hates the most!" 

As regards his August 8 meeting with US President Barack Obama, Samaras said he believed that the time was right for the visit given what he claimed was the reversal in the country's economic prospects.

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