Former Greek PM Simitis predicts return to ESM emergency borrowing for country

31 December 2018
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Former prime minister Costas Simitis, under whose leadership Greece joined the Eurozone in 2002, raised eyebrows over the last weekend of the year by predicting that the thrice bailed-out country will again need ESM borrowing in the near future.

“In the European Union it’s considered as a given that Greece will again seek recourse to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) after 2018,” he was quoted as saying, in an interview appearing in the Sunday weekly “Vima”.

Simitis, the prime minister and PASOK party president from 1996 to 2004, added that a return to ESM emergency funding will “inevitably” be accompanied by the imposition of new conditions on a future Greek government’s economic policy.

Moreover, Simitis directly referred to the issue of political scandals in the country, in the wake of corruption and money laundering-related convictions over the past decade handed down on a handful of his top ministers and officials at the time.

“Corruption is a social phenomenon… political responsibility (on the part of his governments) would have been appropriate if the illegal actions had been known (at the time) and I had them covered up,” he said, shortly after directing a phrase attributed to ancient Athenian lawmaker Solon, towards the current leftist government, namely: “Call no man happy before he dies…”

He again denied that any such information had been revealed during his two full terms in office.

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