FinMin Tsakalotos: Gov’t allocating 1.83 billion euros for social welfare in 2018

The government has allocated 1.83 billion euros for social welfare in 2018, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said during the last day of discussion on the draft budget in Parliament late on Tuesday.

Tsakalotos challenged main opposition New Democracy to “clarify its position, whether it desires growth first and redistribution later, as (ND leader Kyriakos) Mitsotakis said in the party congress or whether he believes what he said today, first redistribution and then growth. Straight talk.”

The budget under debate he said “comprises an effort – under difficult circumstances – to restore mistakes of the past, to bring stability, to bring Greece out of the loan memoranda, to set the foundation of a social state and to improve the economy’s indicators,” he noted.

He also expressed optimism for the future of the banking system ahead of stress tests, saying “banks have 22 billion euros in reserves to deal with crash tests and nonperforming loans.”