SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras met European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Tuesday in Frankfurt where they discussed the Greek opposition party’s view on how the country’s debt could be made sustainable and its objections to the appointment of outgoing Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras as the next governor of the Bank of Greece.
Tsipras was accompanied by SYRIZA’s economic policy chief Yiannis Dragasakis and, according to sources, the pair discussed with the ECB chief the leftists’ belief that Greece needs a substantial reduction of its debt rather than the extension of maturities and lowering of interest rates that the eurozone appears to be supporting.
Dragasakis and Tsipras also underlined their belief in a New Deal driven by the ECB and the European Investment Bank to help revive growth in the eurozone. They argued that the measures taken by Draghi last week, including the introduction of negative interest rates, would not have an effect in Greece due to deflation and the poor state of Greek banks.
Sources also made it clear that if Stournaras is made Bank of Greece governor, a SYRIZA government would likely replace him even though he would be appointed for a five-year term. SYRIZA has asked for the government to consult with the opposition over who will succeed current Governor Giorgos Provopoulos.