ND not bound by gov’t policy mix, Mitsotakis says
Greek opposition chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said his conservative party would commit to the fiscal targets agreed by the leftist-led government with creditors, but would reject the existing economic policy mix if elected to power.
The leader of New Democracy, which is leading in polls, was speaking Thursday at a briefing of foreign journalists ahead of a Eurogroup meeting on April 27 where Athens will present its proposal for post-bailout reforms in exchange for debt relief.
“The country is bound by fiscal targets after the end of the bailout. These cannot change unilaterally,” Mitsotakis said. “However, we are not bound by a certain policy mix,” he said, adding that the government’s program amounted to “recycling outdated ideas.”
The ND leader went on to sketch out a “realistic and bold” growth plan, saying that he would scrap controversial changes in tertiary education and do away with unnecessary posts set up by SYRIZA, alleging that they were created for the leftist party’s political cronies.
He also pledged to reduce taxes and social security contributions in order to kickstart the economy, as well as to create a more business-friendly environment to attract investments and stimulate employment.
Turning his fire onto the government’s foreign policy record, Mitsotakis accused the coalition of doublespeak on the issue of name talks with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). He said ND will only back an agreement that is “comprehensive and final,” explaining that a deal must address the Balkan state’s constitution and root out any irredentist claims.
Mitsotakis also took a dig at coalition partner and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, saying that too much is at stake for him to be trusted at such a delicate post. “I wouldn’t have Mr Kammenos as a minister,” he said.