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GreeceDELPHI FORUM VIII - Tsipras: A SYRIZA gov't can also achieve investment...

DELPHI FORUM VIII – Tsipras: A SYRIZA gov’t can also achieve investment grade

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SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance has proposed a specific program for Greece’s economic and social recovery, and wants Greek voters to provide a strong mandate for a progressive coalition government on election day (May 21), leader Alexis Tsipras said at the Delphi Economic Forum VIII on Wednesday.

Speaking with journalist Maria Nikoltsiou, the main opposition party leader slammed Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for claiming that Greece will acquire investment-grade status only under his government, saying that it was the only promise PM could make during the 2019 national electrons.

Every six months therafter Mitsotakis would continue to promise the soon-to-come investment grade, which never came, Tsipras explained.

Instead, the Syriza leader said, the prime minister and New Democracy (ND) leader “is leaving behind a public debt that is 46 billion higher, a private debt inflated by another 40 billion, and the current account deficit 10 times larger.”

Tsipras was asked to comment on a recent Standard & Poor’s report that “takes a positive view of [an upgrade to] investment grade but is waiting for the election results,” and whether this would be possibility under Syriza-led government. He responded that S&P and other credit rating agencies upgraded the country by two notches during his party’s rule, with the upgrading continuing another two notches later as well under the ND government.
He further noted that in a recent report on the course of the Greek economy, Fitch rating agency had also assessed that there was no uncertainty about the Greek economy, regardless of the election result. “So, let us not then create uncertainities where there are none,” he said, adding that “Syriza has been tested, it is not coming out of nowhere.”
Replying to a question about how Brussels and Frankfurt would react to his party’s economic policy dossier on defaulted loans, Tsipras said that according to the latest developments private debt is no longer accumulating in Greek banks but at private funds, “and therefore does not concern the European Central Bank.”

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Addressing Mitsotakis’ charge that Syriza’s proposed economic program would lead to a fourth loan memorandum, Tsipras said it was a usual Mitsotakis tactic. Tsipras explained that it was the Syriza government that settled the country’s debt in 2018, left 37 billion euros in the public coffers, got the country out of the memoranda and had eight consecutive quarters of growth. The premier had claimed that Syriza “had signed a fourth memorandum. It was this [so-called] fourth memorandum that gave Mitsotakis the opportunity for four years to gain access to financial markets, and to pursue an expansionary fiscal policy of more than 55 billion euros.”

Meanwhile, he noted, per capita income in Greece is 16% lower than in 2007, i.e. before the loan memoranda, while the purchasing power of Greeks is among the lowest in the EU.


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