General satisfaction from the PM’s meetings held at the White House and the IMF
The Prime Minister’s office is reviewing and assessing the five-day visit made by PM Alexis Tsipras in Chicago and Washington.
The Greek government has every reason to be pleased with PM’s Alexis Tsipras meetings at the White House as he managed to get, in merely 24 hours, not only both President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s active interest on the immediate relief of the Greek debt, but also credit for the efforts made by the Greek government to get the country out of the financial crisis.
The visit is considered to be of great importance and the reception given by the White House for the Prime Minister and the Greek government delegation was, in comparison to previous official visits, upgraded in terms of US government official attendance and importance. This was also made evident by the fact that President Trump gave a clear vote of confidence to Greece and its government.
Essentially, the US president urged US businessmen to trust Greece and invest in the country, recognizing that it is time for investment and for US businesses to enter into the Greek market since Greece is coming out of the crisis.
The Greek government had also had to deal with the issue of upgrading Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F16 fighters, an issue which was artificially blown out of proportion by the main opposition parties. According to discussions held in the US, Greece is to allocate EUR 1.1 bn, over the span of a decade, in order to modernize a fleet of about 85 – 95 fighter jets, which is absolutely necessary and de facto beneficial. Even so, government sources state that the Prime Minister, if asked, is prepared to inform the political leaders on this issue even though it is not nearly as important as the opposition claims.
Prime Minister Tsipras and his staff are quite content with the meetings at the IMF and with the IMF leadership, according to TGO, Mme Christine Lagarde during the recent meeting at the IMF headquarters has provided assurances that all IMF decisions will be announced by the end of February, once the third fiscal evaluation and assessment has been completed and the German government has been formed and is in office. The IMF, before the coming spring, will be called upon to finalize its decisions by assessing the reactions of European lenders to the issue of Greek debt regulation.
At this stage and given the IMF’s role in the Greek fiscal assessment program, the Greek government seems, for the first time, to support the Fund’s active participation in the entire process, arguing that there is no need to withdraw from the program since it has been an integral part of the program for the most part.
During his recent speech at Brookings Institute in Washington, Alexis Tsipras stated that it would be better for the IMF to remain in fiscal assessment program, so that it can serve as a partner of the Greek government in the final negotiations for dealing with the national debt.