Weber hints at lower surpluses, if there is a ‘different’ government in Athens


European People's Party (EPP) chief Manfred Weber on Thursday suggested that Greece could be granted smaller primary surplus targets if he is elected president of the European Commission in May, on the condition that the country has a growth-friendly government.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Athens with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who heads opposition New Democracy, a member of the EPP, Weber said that European creditors would discuss the possibility of lowering high primary targets set under the country's bailout agreements “under a different government.”

“We need a new government in Greece,” Weber was quoted as saying in translated comments, going on to accuse leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of reneging on bailout commitments and breaking pre-election promises.

“No one should have to leave their home or their country for financial reasons,” Weber reportedly said in reference to the brain drain that has seen tens of thousands of Greeks seek work abroad.