Greek PM on EU tour to soften fiscal targets

Updated August 20, 2019

Email

Newly-appointed Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (R) shakes hands with former prime minister Alexis Tsipras. — AFP/File
Newly-appointed Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (R) shakes hands with former prime minister Alexis Tsipras. — AFP/File

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitso­takis will begin a tour of EU capitals this week, officials said on Monday, in a bid to persuade the country’s creditors to alleviate tough fiscal targets.

Mitsotakis will begin his meetings with a trip to Paris on Thursday to see President Emmanuel Macron, a government source said.

He will then see German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on August 29 and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on September 2.

New Greek finance minister Christos Staikouras told the Financial Times this weekend that the government would swiftly implement a programme of tax cuts and privatisations to promote growth, reassure investors and “move the economy to an upward virtuous spiral”.

Mitsotakis, elected last month on a ticket of boosting growth, hopes to win agreement to cut the annual target of 3.5 per cent of primary budget surplus.

Greece exited its final bailout last year.

Before his victory, Mitso­takis had expressed confidence that he could persuade Greece’s creditors to lower the primary surplus target with a front-loaded programme of reforms.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2019