UPDATE 1-Greece to extend public sector wage freeze

* Greek PM says will take all measures needed

* Public sector wage freeze to be extended to lower incomes

* Tax, wage bills to be presented by next week

(Adds quotes, background)

ATHENS, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Greece’s prime minister vowed in a
televised address on Tuesday to take all measures needed to pull
his country out of a fiscal crisis, including extending a public
sector wage freeze and hiking taxes on fuel and off-shore firms.

“The government is determined to take all necessary
measures,” Prime Minister George Papandreou told the nation a
day before the European Commission is due to present
recommendations on Greece’s austerity plan.

Papandreou said the government would extend a public sector
wage freeze to those making below 2,000 euros a month for this
year, excluding seniority pay hikes. Those making below that
mark had previously been promised above inflation pay rises.

It was not immediately clear what impact the step would have
on the budget.

He said a broader policy plan for public sector wages would
be announced in the next few days and a new tax bill next week.

“It is imperative to make sure we have an immediate and real
revenue increase in 2010 and that is why the tax bill will
include a rise on fuel tax,” he said.

He also promised tougher tax treatment of off-shore
companies and the wealthy and hinted at a rise in the retirement
age to make Greece’s troubled social security system viable.
Government officials said this will most likely apply to those
seeking early retirement.

“The time has come to make brave decisions here in Greece.
The viability of the system … also passes through the increase
of retirement ages as life expectancy increases,” Papandreou
said.

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(Reporting by Dina Kyriakidou and Renee Maltezou; Writing by
Ingrid Melander; editing by Noah Barkin)

UPDATE 1-Greece to extend public sector wage freeze