Tsakalotos defends handouts, dismisses ‘severe’ reaction by Regling

Tsakalotos defends handouts, dismisses ‘severe’ reaction by Regling

A package of benefits announced in recent weeks are part of a broader plan and signal that Greece is turning a page following its exit from international bailouts last year, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has told the Athens-Macedonia news agency, adding that criticism of the handouts by some foreign officials has been "severe." 

He added that the criticism of the measures by some, both in Greece and abroad, was to be expected particularly by those who have championed austerity. 

"The package of measures voted through Parliament recently must be seen as a part of a comprehensive plan," he said. "It is a balanced plan that started taking shape after 2018 and which has created the fiscal space for growth and the welfare state."

Noting that criticism of the measures was expected, Tsakalotos said that the reaction of European Stability Mechanism chief Klaus Regling was "severe" as was that of Manfred Weber, the European People's Party's candidate for European Commission President.

He noted, however, that German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had referred to a "success story" while European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici had praised the government for systematically meeting financial targets. 

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