FinMin Tsakalotos: Government’s aim is to exit the adjustment program in 2018

The government wants Greece to exit from the bailout program in 2018 with a solution for its debt burden, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Monday, during a parliamentary committee debate on the prior actions agreed with the country’s lenders.

“Our aim is to exit this program in 2018 […] to leave the extreme supervision and enter a different path. And for this other path we need a solution on debt so that it is sustainable, we need to tap the markets,” he said.

The minister said the government does not claim to have achieved a “success story”, as previous governments have in the past, noting there are “many things in the agreement that will sadden people” but there are also “things for which we can be pleased about”.

“This is why we say the main battle is the fight against supervision,” he explained, adding that “there will be gray areas” even when the country completes its aid program.

Commenting on the lengthy negotiations with the institutions, Tsakalotos asked whether the opposition believes it would have been better if they had concluded last December without the offsetting measures included in this deal. He also rejected New Democracy’s claim that to implement the offsetting measures the country will need to overshoot its fiscal targets, saying that the government will simply have to meet these targets.