Outgoing EWG chief Wieser: Only SYRIZA in 2017 took ‘possession’ of bailout program

1 February 2018
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Outgoing Euro Working Group chief Thomas Wieser on Wednesday, in summing up his tenure at the post, said no Greek government truly took “possession” of the bailout programs shepherded by international creditors over the years, with one exception: the SYRIZA government in 2017.

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the Austrian economist was asked directly whether the country will stand on its own two feet after the current bailout ends in August.

“We’re certain that after eight years of adjustment (bailout) programs Greece not only can stand on its own two feet, but is obliged to… because these programs were, in the long term, particularly damaging for the legitimization of the domestic political system,” he said, adding:

“Of course, the reforms of the last few years did not turn Greece into Switzerland or Luxembourg, however, they eliminated major imbalances and mistakes.”

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