Greek PM Tsipras: Eurogroup was a Success

Friday, February 24th, 2017
Last Update: 13:40

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in parliament on Friday that the recent Eurogroup was a success and the government managed to achieve an honest compromise without any austerity measures.

Tsipras spoke during the “Prime Minister’s Hour,” answering questions regarding Monday’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers that led to an agreement for creditors’ representatives to return to Athens and resume negotiations on the bailout program review.

Tsipras said that the Greek negotiating team succeeded in making creditors give something back for every measure Greece takes. However, he did not give specifics to the question of Centrists Union chief Vassilis Leventis, who asked exactly how the “euro for euro” deal works. On Thursday, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos had said that the agreement includes that for every euro in fiscal measures, Greece will be getting one euro in growth measures.

Regarding negotiations which have stalled since mid-December, Tsipras said that the government is making efforts to implement the bailout program prerequisites without burdening Greek households. He said that Greece has reached fiscal targets and the economy is growing steadily. Thereby, he continued, no more austerity measures will be taken and creditors have acknowledged that the economy is on the right track.

Tsipras said that until now Greece was losing in negotiations, but this time “we reached an honest compromise.” He said that creditors agreed that Greece should leave austerity behind. Specifically, Tsipras said, there is no longer the irrational demand for further austerity measures worth 2 percent of GDP after the end of the current bailout program.

Instead, the prime minister continued, the framework of the measures that we will agree to will start on 1/1/2019, under the condition that they will have zero fiscal impact. This means that for every euro of austerity there will be one euro of easing the Greek budget, and we will be the ones to propose the reforms for that.

“The recession cycle is closing and we are entering a new one where the main element is the creation of new wealth, with less unemployment and through the creation of well-paid jobs,” the prime minister said.

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