Tzanakopoulos: No agreement with creditors unless total package involved, including debt issue
Athens will not legislate new measures unless there is an overall agreement with creditors and one that includes the debt issue, the Greek government spokesman maintained on Wednesday.
Spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos apparently raised the threshold for any looming agreement to finally conclude the now utterly delayed a second review of the Greek program (third bailout).
Creditors want labor market reforms and a robust energy sector liberalization in Greece, particularly in reducing the oligopolistic position of the state-run power company (PPC).
In echoing the embattled leftist government’s leitmotif over the recent period, Tzanakopoulos also expressed confidence that an agreement will soon be achieved, as similar comments are being made on almost a daily basis by a bevy of Cabinet members.
At the same time, he said the leftist-rightist coalition government is “solid” in its defense of the “public character” of the power utility, and will not retreat on labor rights, such as a standing prohibition of mass layoffs without a relevant minister’s approval.
In terms of standing demands for further cuts in social security expenditure, in order to meet ambitious fiscal targets after 2019, Tzanakopoulos said “an effort is being made to find the proper way for a mild readjustment.”
Moreover, in response to a press question, he criticized Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. Yannis Stournaras, emerging as the latest government official to take aim at the influential central banker and one-time finance minister in preceding governments.
Stournaras has been outspoken in his views that current negotiations must conclude as soon as possible in order for the second review to be finalized,
otherwise any economic recovery in crisis-battered Greece will be undermined.
“He (Stournaras) cannot speak as if he had no relation (to past government policies), because Mr. Stournaras, for better or worse, was actively involved in everything that took place in the country between 2012 and 2014. And the second thing I want to say is that when the heads of institutional bodies invoke their (administrative) independence, they should have a clearer vision; they must speak in a technocratic manner, as much as possible, and avoid politicking – avoid any identification with specific political narratives,” Tzanakopoulos, who is also a MP, said.
Moreover, he claimed that the coming agreement on labor market reforms with creditors will be so positive that “we’ll be happy to ratify it (law)”.
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