NEWS

Positive signals from Dutch PM on growth, migration, primary surplus

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Talks between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in The Hague on Tuesday focused on the prospects for boosting growth in Greece through investments while Rutte left open the possibility of using bond profits to ease the country’s primary surplus target, Kathimerini understands. 

During a joint press conference after their talks, Rutte said he has “full confidence” in Mitsotakis and sees “incredible potential” in Greece.

He added that the best way for Greece to reduce its economic dependence on its partners is through growth and expressed interest in boosting his country’s exports to Greece. Mitsotakis, for his part, said he wanted to “open the door to foreign investments.” 

Government sources expressed satisfaction with the talks between the two leaders, which lasted for two hours. The positive climate was seen as a boon as the Dutch Parliament is among those that will have to approve any decision to reduce Greece’s primary surplus targets.

Asked by reporters about the possibility of Greece including the return of European central banks’ profits from their Greek bond holdings in the budget’s revenues in order to ease the primary surplus burden, Mitsotakis stressed that economic reforms remained a priority but indicated that it was a possibility that was under discussion by “institutional bodies.”

It is expected that the matter will be discussed by eurozone finance ministry officials in the coming weeks.

Greek government sources also expressed satisfaction at the fact that Dutch officials appeared to be interested in potential investments in the energy and green energy sector, Kathimerini understands.

The other major issue discussed by Rutte and Mitsotakis yesterday was that of migration.

Mitsotakis reiterated Greece’s call for a fairer distribution of migrants among EU member-states following a recent spike in arrivals on the Aegean islands from Turkey.

Rutte, for his part, stressed the importance of the role played by Greece in tackling irregular migration and underlined the need for support from other EU states to those on the “front line.”