NEWS

Mitsotakis to Washington Post: Greece will be different in four years

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Greece’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he wants to turn the country around during his premiership, by making it an attractive investment destination.

Speaking to the Washington Post in an interview published on Wednesday, he described the government’s tax cut plan, saying the aim is to achieve economic growth of 3 percent in 2020 and maintain it for the immediate future.

“The tax base is being expanded by combating tax evasion. You use electronic transactions to encourage tax compliance. You go after ‘low’ tax evasion in tavernas and cafes by encouraging citizens to pay electronically rather than in cash,” he said, adding he was certain that some rich people do not pay taxes.

He also said he wants to bring back Greeks who left the country during the 8-year crisis.

Asked about the thorny issue of migration, Mitsotakis said that if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants an honest conversation with the EU, the best way would be to stop threatening to send hundreds of thousands of refugees to its shores.

He acknowledged Turkey has a very large number of refugees and needs financial assistance, but added this cannot develop into a game of threats, using people as leverage to achieve a better deal.

“Is this what Erdogan is doing?” he was asked, to which he responded “Yes.”

Commenting on Greek airspace violations by Turkish airforce planes, Mitsotakis said they constitute a violation of Greek sovereignty and a “dangerous game” and called fora deescalation of tensions in the Aegean. 

Concerning Turkish driving activity in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, the Greek premier described them as a “clear violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Mitsotakis pointed to Total and ExxonMobil’s exploratory rights in the Cyprus’ EEZ, noting that Turkey has been “very aggressive” over the last year, ignoring both international law and the law of the sea.