Greece’s new finance minister to push ahead with tax cuts

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Greece’s new finance minister to push ahead with tax cuts

It will be a hard task after former Premier and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras went on a costly spree of pension bonuses and tax cuts - after slashing benefits and raising taxes - in a failed bid to win re-election in July 7 snap elections where he was trounced by Mitsotakis, promising a pro-business tenure with tax cuts aimed at drawing investors.

As part of those agreements, Greece has pledged to achieve government budget surpluses, before debt costs, of 3.5 percent of GDP for the coming years.

Eurogroup chief Mario Centeno on Monday however urged the new Greek government to stick to the reforms and public spending commitments agreed by Athens with its eurozone creditors in return for the bailouts.

"Commitments are commitments, and if we break them, credibility is the first thing to fall apart". Critics say that requirement has shackled government spending and stifled the country's recovery.

New Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has to cope with a national debt exceeding 180 percent of gross domestic product and 45 percent of non-performing or risky loans to banks, according to Associated Press.

Analysts said Mitsotakis would be able to pursue growth-friendly policies despite the bailout constraints and financial challenges.

"The Greek people gave us a strong mandate to change Greece".

Hundreds of conservative supporters braved the summer heat to greet him outside the prime minister's official residence, chanting: "There his is!" Greece had previously received bail-outs from the European Union, and the imposition of strict measures had made the situation unteneable for the previous prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

Mitsotakis appointed Christos Staikouras to the crucial post of finance minister.

The new government, which was sworn in by Athens Archbishop Ieronymos, relies heavily on experienced politicians who have served in previous governments. The foreign ministry was given to Nikos Dendias, who held previous Cabinet positions in the ministries of development, defense and public order, while a former public order minister under a previous socialist government, Michalis Chrisochoidis, takes the reins of the ministry once again as one of Mitsotakis' non-parliamentary appointees.

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