Recent events have shown that Greece is heading toward an agreement on June 21 that will lock in a clean exit from memorandum programmes and work out the details of debt relief for the country, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Sunday.
According to the spokesman, the decisions made at the Eurogroup, the statements made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Athens and a series of other events proved that scenarios predicting precautionary credit lines, extensions of the programme and additional austerity measures were false.
During the interview, he also outlined the strategic growth plan for Greece prepared by the government, noting that its central tenet was that economic recovery cannot be based on crushing labour rights, "which is the fundamental ideological position of New Democracy." The target of redistributing wealth, Tzanakopoulos added, was not only a social target but also a developmental one.
Presenting the government's priorities, the spokesman said that these included boosting growth momentum, attracting investments and generating new wealth, as well as a redistribution of income, extending labour rights and accelerating major progressive reforms and changes. On this basis, he said, "we are working to gradually address the injustices created by the aggressive austerity of the memorandums," with top priority to issues that usually concerned the social majority. He noted, also, that this was the first time that a strong social state was being created in Greece.
Regarding debt, Tzanakopoulos pointed out that the discussion was not starting from scratch and noted that the country's fiscal performance allowed a relaxation of austerity without jeopardising the medium-term fiscal targets. This was a position also shared by a majority of Greece's European lenders, he added.
He played down disagreements between MPs within the ruling coalition as part of a process of dialogue that was normal for the party, while noting that everyone agreed on the issues at stake and on the goal.
On foreign policy and the negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonian (FYROM) on the name issue, Tzanakopoulos indicated that putting relations between the two countries on new foundations would be in the best interests of both sides.
Regarding Greece's relations with Turkey, the spokesman noted that "Turkey must understand that its policy of continuous confrontation is isolating it internationally. And also that, in the end, Greece is its most reliable supporter and that the tension it is provoking in our bilateral relations runs counter to its own interests, first and foremost."
Source: ANA - MPA