Trounced in July 7 snap elections after reneging on anti-austerity promises for 4 ½ years, former Premier and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he handed over to new Premier and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis a country that’s come back from a 9 ½ year-long conomic crisis.
He told CNBC that Mitsotakis should use what SYRIZA did without mentioning he had caved in to the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) in return for a third bailout in the summer of 2015, this one for 86 billion euros that came with more harsh measures he swore to reject but imposed.
“(Mitsotakis) has to work and to move forward in order to take advantage of what we did in the last four-and-a-half years,” Tsipras told the news site at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy.
Three international rescue packages of 326 billion euros expired on Aug. 20, 2018 and Tsipras’ government built a larger-than-expected primary surplus – which doesn’t include interest on the debt, the cost of running cities and towns, state enterprises, social security and some military expenditures – by also delaying payments to those owed money by the state.
“The most important (thing) he has to do is to try to have a better future for the country with a more flexible policy, especially in relation with the primary surpluses,” Tsipras added of his bitter political rival who has already moved to fast-track major projects blocked by SYRIZA, cut taxes that Tsipras raised and is promising to lure foreign investors scared off by the Leftists.
Greece’s deal means the government has to have a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP.)
Mitsotakis said that was too high and slowing a faster recovery and said he would try to persuade the Troika to back off before changing his mind and saying he was confident he could bring enough investors to spur a faster rebound.
Tsipras added: “I have declared if (Mitsotakis) wants to have an ally in order to fight for better results for the people, I will be there.,” before adding that if New Democracy doesn’t keep embracing SYRIZA policies that, “I will be on the opposite side,” as always.