BoG Gov Stournaras: Greece must faithfully implement reforms in order to continue recovery

14 October 2018
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Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. Yannis Stournaras over the weekend referred to a need for a “faithful adherence” by the country to terms agreed to with creditors, saying this is a one-way street for economic recovery and restoring credibility.

The former finance minister in a coalition ND-PASOK government preceding the current Tsipras government, also warned against any deviation from set fiscal targets, while again pointing to a need to implement agreed-to privatizations, exploit inert public assets and attract investments.

His comments were carried in the staunchly anti-government “Parapolitika” newspaper.

Stournaras has long been viewed by the current leftist-rightist coalition government as a “thorn in its side”, with initial efforts to oust him from the autonomous central bank fizzling out in the first few months of 2015, although Cabinet members and MPs elected with radical leftist SYRIZA have often taken aim at him since then.

In fact, over the weekend at a SYRIZA party central committee in Athens, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras found time to criticize Stournaras, rather than censure his junior coalition partner, the right-wing defense minister Panos Kammenos. The latter appeared at the US Pentagon last week on an official visit to again express his absolute opposition to the Prespa Agreement – which the Cabinet in which he serves approves – before proposing a new non-NATO “Balkan alliance” and even lobbying Washington to open more military bases in Greece.

In other comments, the Greek central banker reiterated that the Greek economy and finances remain “fragile”, and must be reinforced from turbulence on international markets, such as unease from the recent Italian crisis.

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