Moscovici and Greek opposition spar over exit from bailout

European Pariament

Plenary session - Conclusion of the third economic adjustment programme for Greece

Moscovici and Greek opposition spar over exit from bailout


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I the wake of European Commissioner Pierre Mosovici’s visit to Athens, he has been forced to respond to an accusation by the leader of the centre-right New Democracy party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that the Greek government’s narrative of a “clean exit” from the bailouts is a mere deception and that Mosovici  needs to be more measured in his enthusiasm when commenting on Greece’s economic prospects, M

Mitsotakis has warned that the announced end of the aid programme’s to Greece is, in fact, a deception and that “a fourth, disguised bailout” is being kept from the public, claims that Moscovici has flatly rejected.

According to Moscovici, Greece is in much better condition than before the programmes, but still has significant groundwork to do before it is out of the woods.

“People are thinking of elections. and cynicism is a part of that,” said Moscovici, before adding that both as Commissioner and as Finance Minister he has cooperated with all of Greece’s governments, including when he had “a bit few problems with Mr Varoufakis”, he said in reference to Greece’s radical leftist former finance minister for the ruling SYRIZA party, Yanis Varoufakis.

Moscovici has gone on record, say the alternative to a bailout would be to throw Greece outside the Euro, “We have been close to Grexit”, adding “We have to stand back and realise that this is an important moment” for Greece.

Greek MEP Manolis Kefalogiannis, the head of New Democracy’s MEPs representation in Brussels, raised questions on whether Greece is really exiting its bailout contract as the conditions agreed during the exit process might simply amount to a fourth bailout, which he said would render the third bailout programme as “useless”.

Italian Social Democrat MEP and chair of ECON Committee Roberto Gualtieri, says the exit marks a “milestone” for Greece in its return to being autonomous, dismissing Kefalogiannis’ claims.

According to Centeno, who also serves as Portugal’s finance minister, Greece’s third bailout is “drawing to a successful close” and Greece is ready to “turn the page”.

The Eurozone members showed “unprecedented solidarity” by lending billions to Greece when “no one else was willing to lend”. Athens has run a solid primary surplus for two consecutive years and completed a bailout that has required “extraordinary sacrifices” from Greek citizens, said Centeno.

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