Greek PM brushes off opposition criticism of economic policy

Greek PM brushes off opposition criticism of economic policy

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday brushed off criticism from the main opposition of the conservative administration’s economic policy, accusing SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras of “failing to learn” from being in government himself and from his electoral defeat last July.

“If things were going so well in July 2016 why did you lose by almost 10 points,” Mitsotakis asked Tsipras during a heated discussion in Parliament, responding to the opposition leader’s accusations that his government “threw” the Greek economy “onto the rocks.”

The prime minister pointed to improved market sentiment and Thursday’s decision by eurozone finance ministers to green-light the disbursal of central bank profits from Greek sovereign bonds on account of the country’s successful response to the coronavirus crisis and its reform commitments.

“The reliability of an economy is measured in many different ways… But there is one very objective means of comparison: How the markets assess the course of the economy… You went out into the markets at a rate of 3.9%. In pandemic conditions, the Hellenic Republic was able to borrow at a rate of 1.57%. This is the best response to your claims about the economy,” Mitsotakis told Tsipras. 

“The Eurogroup congratulated us on our handling of the pandemic,” the prime minister said, adding that Greece has also been able to secure a significant sum in aid from Brussels as part of its coronavirus recovery program.

“The support of the European Union and the credibility Greece has earned in Europe is something we will be credited for later,” Mitsotakis said.

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