Greece needs ‘more fiscal space’ to implement growth policies, says FinMin


Greece needs more “fiscal space in the next two years” via lower primary surplus targets in order to implement the recently elected center-right government’s economic policies, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said.

“We are emphatic about this and present good arguments,” he told Germany’s Der Spiegel in an interview over the weekend.

“These targets were set based on certain assumptions about debt sustainability. If these assumptions change, like growth and financing costs, I see no reason not to adjust the surplus targets as well. That would mean more growth – what everyone in Europe wants,” added the 47-year-old economist who has overseen the country’s recent turnaround.

“Greece has exceeded its growth targets, paid back low interest costs and the most expensive part of its IMF loans. This means that the parameters for the analysis of debt sustainability have changed,” argued Staikouras.

“Therefore, the goals for the primary surplus can change – especially for 2021 and 2022, where they were set at the very high value of 3.5 percent,” he said.