ATHENS – Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, in his speech at the conference “Banking Summit: Paving the way for growth” on Tuesday, offered his opinion that the Ukrainian crisis will not derail the Greek economy. According to the minister, “what we did was to take advantage of the 2021 performance to mitigate the impact of 2022. We created fiscal space in order to make use of it.”
As Staikouras said, the second crisis that the European Union is experiencing will have significant consequences, with uncertainty increasing and risks being created. In the case of Greece, he added, the impact will come from inflation, due to rising energy prices. Unfortunately, he said, no state can fully absorb the costs, and he reiterated that decisions are needed at European level.
“We need fiscal space, but also fiscal responsibility. We use the fiscal space wisely,” he stressed and stated, at the same time, that fiscal policy was important and that investments which include the issues of defence are protected, given the fluid geopolitical environment. He pointed out that fiscal rules should take external factors into account and that “we must be very careful about the technical aspects of these rules. Positive incentive mechanisms are more effective.”
“The issue is sustainable growth and it seems that we are achieving this goal,” he said, adding that “we want to exit the enhanced surveillance mechanism. We must achieve fiscal sustainability and realistic primary surpluses for 2023, if the conditions allow us to do so.”