Tags: Greece | Lagarde | tax | evasion

IMF's Lagarde Says Greece Must Do More on Tax Evasion, Reform

Tuesday, 04 Jun 2013 10:07 AM

Greece is broadly on track with its bailout program but must do more to crack down on tax evasion and pursue reforms to attract foreign investors, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said.

Lagarde's interview with state TV was aired as officials from the country's international lenders, the European Union and the IMF, return to Athens to start another inspection after giving Greece the green light for more bailout funds.

The Greek economy is in its sixth year of recession but the country is seeing revived interest in its deeply discounted bonds and stocks, helped by praise from foreign lenders for government efforts to get the bailout program back on track.

Asked whether she subscribed to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's notion that Greece is now a "success story," Lagarde said: "I certainly hope it's on its way to being a success story."

"There are some really positive developments but obviously more needs to be done," she told state NET television.

"There has been significant improvement with a program that is now pretty much on track. The program has seen massive, unprecedented consolidation, which is hard."

Lagarde said Athens must improve tax revenue collection and liberalize entry into some professions to push the economy toward growth. Last week the IMF cleared the path to disburse a $2.26 billion loan tranche to Athens after its latest review.

During the inspection that starts this week, Athens is expected to press for lowering the 23 percent value-added tax on restaurants to boost consumption and tax revenue.

Inspectors are also expected to assess whether Athens has made progress in cutting state jobs, a sensitive issue in a country where unemployment is at a record high of 27 percent.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Greece is broadly on track with its bailout program but must do more to crack down on tax evasion and pursue reforms to attract foreign investors, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said.
Greece,Lagarde,tax,evasion
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2013-07-04
Tuesday, 04 Jun 2013 10:07 AM
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