Shadow finance minister says Tsakalotos letter to lenders was ‘humiliating’

Shadow finance minister says Tsakalotos letter to lenders was ‘humiliating’

Opposition New Democracy’s economic policy chief on Wednesday said that a letter sent to creditors by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos last month expressing the government’s commitment to the bailout was “humiliating.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Christos Staikouras accused the finance chief of “double-speak” and “irresponsibility,” saying that Tsakalotos agreed to put his signature on three documents that are detrimental to the Greek people: the state budget that includes higher taxes, a Eurogroup agreement for new measures from 2018 and high primary surpluses, and, finally, the letter to creditors in which he expressed the government’s “full commitment to remain compliant with our obligations under the MoU.”

Tsakalotos had sent the letter – seen by the opposition as bowing down to excessive demands – in the wake of a row with creditors over a decision by the Greek government to grant a one-off Christmas bonus to pensioners and to freeze a VAT hike on the islands.

Staikouras stressed that New Democracy has drafted its own alternative proposal for the country’s beleaguered economy, which includes frontloaded implementation of structural reforms, changes in fiscal policy that will lead to a gradual reduction in taxes and a strategic plan for an overhaul of Greece’s production system.

“We Greeks can get ahead with a different government, with a national plan and hard work, based on truth, understanding and unity,” Staikouras concluded in his statement.

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