Interim government officials Friday expressed their discontent after ex-foreign minister Nikos Kotzias slammed the former for abstaining from a United Nations vote on global “basic principles” for sovereign debt restructuring.
Kotzias said that the caretaker administration had violated instructions by the outgoing leftist-led government to Greece’s Permanent Delegation to the UN to support the resolution – which is designed to avoid cases like Argentina’s lingering legal battle with vulture creditors – accusing the government of having “far exceeded its authority.”
Sources said that the government’s position was decided after considering recommendations from responsible authorities including the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) and the Finance Ministry. They said Greece had held a similar stance in 2014 and 2015 when all EU member-states decided to stay out of procedures that led to yesterday’s vote at the UN.
Diplomatic sources said that the decision was based on four reasons: First, Greece’s debt is unlike the debt of developing nations; second, Greece did not wish to act independently of other eurozone states that snubbed the vote; third, it would make no sense for Greece to vote against its lenders in a nonbinding vote; and fourth, in contrast to Kotzias’s claims, the caretaker government never instructed the Permanent Delegation to change its position.
The South Africa-submitted resolution, “Basic Principles on Sovereign Debt Restructuring Processes,” garnered 136 votes in favor and six against, with 41 countries abstaining.