Houliarakis issues ‘fiscal lapse’ warning to government


Alternate Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis warned late Thursday of the risk of the country slipping back into its “old habits” of fiscal relaxation after the completion of the bailout program and ahead of elections.

Mainly addressing his fellow ministers, Houliarakis said the risk of a “fresh fiscal lapse” is not minor, and that care is required to make sure that Greece does not repeat the mistakes of the past given that 2019 will be an election year.

In issuing the warning the minister effectively justified the concerns of the country’s creditors, who want the country to be monitored more closely so that it does not become vulnerable to profiteering attacks when it fully returns to the money markets.

Houliarakis also distanced himself from the government narrative that the bailout programs are to blame for the crisis, saying they were necessary to avoid a Greek bankruptcy and a eurozone exit.