Antonis Samaras, the Greek Prime Minister, rejected calls from the troika of its international creditors to raise taxes to satisfy their demands of Greece’s bailout program. He criticizied the three entities for exerting heavy pressure on the country.
His comments on Tuesday were made during an economic conference at the Greek-American Chamber of Commerce.
Samaras said “Now that we are approaching the final audit of the aid program, which expires at the end of December, there are conditions concerning tax rises and the reduction of revenues. I say clearly, we have rejected these calls,”
Press TV reports: The prime minister also censured the troika – the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) – for pressuring Athens on imposing additional austerity measures, including tax rises and income cuts.
Samaras argued the measures demanded by the troika would be disastrous for the country which has just emerged from a six-year long recession.
The comments by Samaras come amid weeks of talks between Athens and troika inspectors on Greece’s 2015 budget.
The troika claims that Greece must impose spending cuts between two to three billion euros (USD 2.5-3.7 billion) next year to meet its primary surplus target of 3.0 percent of economic output.
Athens has rejected the claim saying the figure is excessively high, with Samaras saying the government would take extra measures if needed to balance the 2015 budget within the year.
Greece has been relying on international rescue loans since 2010. It has received 240 billion euros (330 billion dollars) in international loans. In exchange, Athens has implemented harsh austerity measures.
The Greek government’s austerity programs have forced people to endure multiple tax increases, along with cuts in pension and salary, in exchange for bailout loans by international lenders.