Government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos on Wednesday expressed certainty that the government will be able to not implement the pension cuts that, based on current legislation, are due to kick in on January 2019.
In an interview with Real FM radio, he said that the meetings between the government’s economic staff and the institutions are taking place in the European context of exchanging information that is then included in a document that is submitted to the Eurogroup.
Tzanakopoulos explained that during Wednesday’s meetings, “Tsakalotos and Chouliarakis will describe and explain to the institutions that there is no fiscal reason for the implementation of the pension cuts from January 2019. Afterwards the issue will be taken to more senior European levels.”
Regarding the Prespes Agreement, he repeated the government’s expectation that this will be passed by an ample majority in parliament.
Finally, on the refugee and migration issue and the way this is addressed by the European Union, Tzanakopoulos noted that “there was a big explosion in the flow of refugees in 2015-2016, mostly due to the conflict in Syria,” and the situation was made worse when the Visegrad countries closed their borders and trapped people in Greece and on the islands.
He said that the EU-Turkey agreement had relieved some of the pressure from migration flows but the situation remained difficult to manage.
Finally, he expressed the view that Greece will face great difficulties unless all the European countries agree to share in the allocation of the burdens. All this notwithstanding, the Greek government will do its utmost to assist both the refugees and the inhabitants of the Greek islands, he added.