Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Mitsotakis’ closely watched meetings on Mon. with Merkel, Schaeuble

13 February 2017
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Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ two-day visit to Berlin, for talks with German leadership, was featured in a front-page article in Monday’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, where the latter was quoted as stressing that “we can avoid a fourth assistance package if we bring about a timely political change.”

Mitsotakis was referring directly to his standing demand for snap elections in crisis-battered Greece as soon as possible. His center-right political party now enjoys a double-digit lead over radical left SYRIZA – the ruling party – in all mainstream opinion polls in the country over the past year.

The pro-reform ND leader will be received by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, in two separate meetings that will be very closely scrutinized in Greece and Europe.

The German mass daily’s article, under the headline “Greece’s conservatives seek closeness with Berlin,” highlights the point that the powerful German FinMin is again reviving the specter of “Grexit”, thereby making Mistotakis’ visit possibly “explosive”.

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the former minister aims to convince institutional creditors, beginning with numerous contacts in Berlin, that snap elections in Greece entail no threat to the stability of the current bailout or the recovering Greek economy, in general.

Moreover, the paper claims Mitsotakis will present Merkel with ND’s plan for the country’s economic future.

“Assuming he becomes prime minister, he (Mitsotakis) wants to impose reforms, in agreement with creditors. In return, he expects a greater margin (to maneuver) in terms of fiscal matters,” the article states, while saying ND is counter-proposing a primary budget surplus target of 2 percent of GDP after 2018 – as opposed to the currently foreseen 3.5 percent of GDP.

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