“The government’s first concern after the exit from the programmes – after eight years of memoranda – is to consolidate the country’s steady course by ensuring that there is no setback,” Alterate Economy and Development Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas said in an interview late on Tuesday.
“We must convince the markets that we will not return to past practices and that we will defend the fiscal stability we have achieved, persuade them that reforms will continue, consolidate the country’s development conditions and finally convince the Greek people that we have turned a page and are entering a period when we will gradually and with prudence start to correct the injustices,” he added.
He expressed optimism over the pensions issue, the budget tabled to the EU and the measures annnounced in the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). The minister underlined that it is the first time after eight years that Greece submitted a budget according to the normal EU procedures, adding that the government is certain that it will be approved.
Pitsiorlas said that the exit from the programme does not mean that Greece has overcome the crisis. “We are fully aware of the existing problems. Anyone who participates in the debate must also be aware that there are some restrictions on how these problems are addressed,” he said.
He also said that the government can meet the targets set. “Despite the strong criticism the government receives, Greece has exceeded all forecasts, and this is proved in economic indicators for unemployment, exports, investment, R&D spending.”