FinMin Tsakalotos: Greece is in a good path on how to make Greek debt sustainable

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Tuesday he believes Greece is in a good path on how to make Greek debt sustainable, noting that a solution will be found by the end of the year to clear the way for investments.

“I think we have reasonable hopes that by the end of the year we’ll have a solution which will create this clear path,” the minister said during a meeting of the parliament’s sub-committee on Greek debt and its reduction.

He said the short-term measures currently discussed by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the country, the IMF and other countries who implemented an adjustment program concern what can and cannot be done, not so much in reducing debt, but in reducing the risk in managing it.

If the EU doesn’t say what it will do with Greece’s debt the IMF cannot complete its debt sustainability report and therefore cannot participate in the program, he said, adding that waiting to take action until 2020 is not compatible with demanding that the IMF participates with money in Greece’s program. Tsakalotos said that in the end all sides will have to compromise on Greece’s debt to reach a solution.

Citing statements by officials and economists that the Eurozone is not working, the finance minister said that one of the reasons is the differences in debt, noting that this means “we cannot have a unified monetary policy”. He explained that there has to be a serious discussion on how to change this and discuss Greece’s debt in parliament
and at a European level.

“We need a very serious discussion on what’s wrong with the Eurozone in relation to debt, but which is also linked with the monetary and fiscal policy. I believe we’re in a good path for the first question – how will Greek debt turn out and how we’ll create a clear path for investments- but we are in the first phase, how the European debt will become sustainable in the framework of the Eurozone and the EU,” he continued.

“Europe has a deep problem and we don’t talk about this in parliament, or about whether Greece can or cannot survive in such a Eurozone. We don’t have clear statements, nor by New Democracy, neither by Mr. (Yiannis) Stournaras and we think it’s time to have such a debate,” he said.