Greece has had to go through tougher austerity than it would have otherwise been necessary because of the populist stance of the left-wing government of Alexis Tsipras in 2015, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Monday.
“Populism doesn’t solve problems. Populism creates problems,” Dombrovskis told a round table in Riga in a discussion on the growing support for populist parties in many European Union countries.
“We could see that in the... classic example of Greece. A new government came with a populist stance, that we don’t need any austerity regimes, we will spend as much as we want,” he said.
“And, in fact, Greece now implements tougher austerity measures than it would have been necessary if [reforms] of the previous government were continued at the time,” he said.
Dombrovskis said that because of the Tsipras government’s policies, Greece fell back into recession in 2015 instead of accelerating growth to a 2.5 percent forecast had reforms been continued.