Former Commission President Barroso stirred up controversy in Greece’s political scene

The former President of European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso attended the 4th Delphi Economic Forum. Within the forum’s premises, the former Commission President raised dust with his public statements. Mr. Barroso stirred controversy when he admitted that the financial markets have adopted a more favourable attitude toward Greece, as signalled by a sharp decrease in the interest rates of short and long-term government bonds.

This decrease is attributed to the government’s adoption of a more accommodating stance towards Europe’s financial authorities, with the eventual replacement of former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis with Euclid Tsakalotos. The second development explaining this decrease corresponds to the markets’ confidence that the new elections would result into the victory of the main opposition party, New Democracy and its leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Further, the former Commission president argued that the biggest challenge for the next government will be to remain stuck on the pre-agreed reforms and then look for countermeasures to lower the pre-agreed fiscal thresholds. Further, Mr. Barroso underscored that a new government which adopts a more prudent stance on primary budget surplus, probably lowering it, will also be able to diminish the already spiking tax rates.

Mr. Barroso’s statements naturally caused concern within the internal political environment given that he currently retains the chairmanship of Goldman Sachs, one of the key stakeholders in international markets – if not a market in itself.

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