Fiscal flexibility but not derailment, Staikouras says during 2021 budget debate

Fiscal flexibility but not derailment, Staikouras says during 2021 budget debate

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said there will be "fiscal flexibility but not fiscal derailment" with respect to the debt and deficits, which "will, in fact, increase", while speaking during the ongoing debate for the 2021 budget in parliament on Sunday.

Referring to health issues and an OECD table cited by main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, he said the government submitted an updated table on Saturday, noting that Greece "not in the state described by the main opposition but nor among the top countries in spending".

He also noted that many of the countries with higher spending on health also had a greater number of cases in proportion to population, which in some was more than double the rate in Greece, while others spent less despite having more cases (Portugal, Austria, Lithuania, Netherlands and Latvia).

He also criticised SYRIZA for "doom-mongering" and focusing on the OECD report, which forecasts an anaemic growth rate of 0.9 pct, among 42 Greek and international reports forecasting strong growth rates of 4-5 pct in 2021.

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