EU confident new Greek government will fulfill all commitments

EPA-EFE/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

Outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) welcomes newly-elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (L), in Athens, 8 July 2019.

EU confident new Greek government will fulfill all commitments


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Just when new Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was being sworn-in, questions on whether the new conservative government will respect the fiscal agreements made by the outgoing administration of Alexis Tsipras.

Greece’s conservative New Democracy party won in a landslide the 7 July snap national election, defeating the ruling radical left-wing Syriza party. A total of six parties will enter parliament based on the result and without the presence of far-right Golden Dawn. A breakdown of each party’s percentage of the vote and seats in the 300-seat parliament shows New Democracy winning 39.78% and 158 seats, SYRIZA with 31.56 % and 86 seats, ΚΙΝΑL at 7.97 % and 22 seats, Communist Party of Greece (ΚΚΕ) with 5.34 % and 15 seats, Εlliniki Lysi (Greek Solution) won 3.74 % and 10 seats, and MeRA25 with 3.47 % and 9 seats.
“(Jean-Claude) Juncker assured the incoming government that they can continue counting in their full support to ensure that the country and its people will live with the full benefits of the efforts that were undertaken in recent years,” said the European Commission’s Deputy spokesperson, Mina Andreeva.

“The Greek people deserve respect,” reiterated Andreeva, who added that the Juncker Commission has “of course full confidence now that the government will fulfil all its commitments that the Greek state has undertaken the completion, delivery, and continuous implementation of the reforms that were agreed under the stability and support programs will continue to be monitored through the enhanced surveillance network”.
The primary surplus of 3.5% is an integral part of the 2018 agreement, according to a Senior Eurozone official that briefed the Brussels press, but who refused to comment on the substance of the new government’s plan.
“We will see more in detail in the Finnish Eurogroup in September, of course, there will be an EWG before that, but for the moment I can not say more,” the official added, admitting that “all political parties have challenged the 3.5% target and we would have this problem anyway, whoever won the election, but I repeat, is part of the 2018 package.”
On whether the Eurogroup will discuss all this with the outgoing Alternate Minister of Finance, George Chouliarakis, the official added, “We do not have a minister at the moment. I hope Chouliarakis is here tonight, he is a very good friend of mine, but I do not know to wait to see.”

“It is not right to send a message to a government that has not yet sworn in, we will see them in more detail in September,” added the EU official, underlining that the third enhanced surveillance report showed there were not only delays but even “reversing of reforms with measures brought by the previous government”, while the budgetary target for 2019 and 2020 is difficult to be achieved.

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