There is a very large fiscal overperformance of the Greek economy, with primary surpluses far surpassing the targets, State Minister Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in an interview with SKAI TV on Friday.
“The country’s fiscal performance from 2019 onwards will be examined on this basis,” he added, while noting that targeted tax relief might be possible for fiscal space created after 2019, relieving “some groups of citizens that have borne a disproportionate burden”. At the same time, he said, all these things will have to be examined at a later date, after the exit from the programme.
He clarified that there is no new memorandum and explained that “a clean exit means that there will be no extension of the progamme or precautionary credit line; on the contrary, the country will have access to the markets after a debt settlement.”
On the measures to be implemented in 2019 and 2020, cutting pensions and the tax free allowance, he pointed out that they were among the prior actions demanded for the conclusion of the second programme review.
He dismissed speculation on early general elections as “comical”, adding that the prime minister is tired of repeating that the elections will be held at the end of the government’s term in 2019.
On the negotiations with FYROM, he reiterated the government’s position on erga omnes application of the name agreed and a revision of FYROM’s Constitution “in order to reach an agreement,” adding that “we are discussing the names proposed by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz.”
On Turkey’s stance towards the Greek soldiers detained in Edirne prison since March 1, after they accidentally strayed across the Greek-Turkish border while on patrol, he said that Turkey has elected to operate on political rather than legal terms. He said the line adopted by Turkey in this matter was mistaken and expressed hope that the new Turkish government that emerges after the elections in the neighbouring country will adopt a different course. “We will continue to apply political pressure, we are striving to mobilise international organisations and I believe we are succeeding because they are mobilising,” he added.