PM in­sists on sta­bil­ity

Op­po­si­tion’s pro­pos­als could sab­o­tage debt ef­fort, Sa­ma­ras writes in Kathimerini

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As the gov­ern­ment presses on with ef­forts to re- launch a stalled eco­nomic re­view with the troika and clinch a post-bailout agree­ment with the coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors, Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras has in­sisted on the need for both po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic sta­bil­ity in an ar­ti­cle in Sun­day’s Kathimerini, claim­ing that op­po­si­tion pro­pos­als could push Greece back to the brink of bank­ruptcy or a eu­ro­zone exit.

In his ar­ti­cle, Sa­ma­ras noted that, in or­der to safe­guard po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, the cur­rent Par­lia­ment must ap­point a new pres­i­dent in elec­tions early next year. Another chal­lenge is to cer­tify the sus­tain­abil­ity of Greece’s debt, Sa­ma­ras said, not­ing that his gov­ern­ment has al­ready taken steps to­ward re­duc­ing the coun­try’s debt and would “seek new re­lief.”

With­out nam­ing SYRIZA, Sa­ma­ras made it clear that op­po­si­tion pres­sure to ob­struct pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in a bid to force snap polls and its in­sis­tence on a debt write-off were risky tac­tics that could sab­o­tage progress in fis­cal adjustment. “He who re­turns the coun­try to the time of deficits does not thus strike at aus­ter­ity,” Sa­ma­ras said. The premier added that the ab­sence of an agree­ment with cred­i­tors cer­ti­fy­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of Greek debt would es­sen­tially block Greece from cap­i­tal mar­kets. In a clear dig at SYRIZA, he added that “those who have such things in mind are lead­ing Greece back­ward – ei­ther to bank­ruptcy, which we nar­rowly avoided, or to a euro exit, which we nar­rowly averted.”

The gov­ern­ment wants to con­clude the cur­rent troika re­view and reach an agree­ment with cred­i­tors on debt re­lief. The gov­ern­ment re­sponded at the end of last week to a to-do list of re­forms sent by the troika and is await­ing the lat­ter’s re­ply. Once the re­view has re­sumed, the aim is for Greece to se­cure an agree­ment at a sum­mit of eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters on De­cem­ber 8 that en­sures the coun­try can rely on a pre­cau­tion­ary credit line next year, after the Euro­pean arm of its in­ter­na­tional bailout ends. Once this credit line is in place, Sa­ma­ras wrote in his ar­ti­cle, “the prospects for the fu­ture of the Greek econ­omy will sky­rocket” while in­ter­est rates will fall.

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