ND chief sets out proposals for private debt


New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday set out his proposals for a “radical and bold” reform of private debt that will help stabilize the Greek economy and push it toward growth, describing the economic policy of the current leftist-led government as a failure. 

“The chronic sickness of the economy will not change if we continue with the same failed recipe of overtaxation, payment freezes and an abhorrence of structural reform,” Mitsotakis told members of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (GSEVVE) in Athens. 

Mitsotakis proposed several measures to ease the burden on businesspeople and kick-start the economy. 

These included forgiving social security contributions that have been deemed uncollectible and splitting debts of up to 3,000 euros into two parts, one of which would be paid off in installments and the other frozen until the first part is paid off.

The ND leader slammed the government for refusing to use the remaining 27.4 billion euros in the third bailout and instead tapping the markets to raise funds for a cash buffer at a much higher rate of interest. 

He also derided authorities for insisting that Greece will see a “clean exit” from the third bailout when the program ends in August.

“There is no clean exit… as the government has committed to new austerity measures to the tune of 5.1 billion euros,” he said, referring to further pension cuts and the lowering of the tax-free threshold. 

Apart from lowering taxes and easing the burden on businesses, an ND government would also introduce measures to attract foreign investment, he said.