Greece’s credibility has improved over the last 2.5 years, Tsakalotos tells Europarliament committee

epa05271960 Greek Finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos prior to the meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers at the Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 22 April 2016. Eurozone ministers met to discuss the Greek bailout and the Panama Papers fallout. EPA/BART MAAT

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos explained on Wednesday the reasons he is not in favour of a credit line after Greece’s exit from the loan memoranda and why he considers Greece’s joining the European Central Bank’s (ECB) quantitative easing programme a positive move but not necessary for returning to the markets.

Addressing the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, he also referred to his occasional “disagreements” with the ECB president Mario Draghi.

Tsakalotos underlined the measures for the Greek debt relief and the improvement of Greece’s credibility after the end of the programme, adding that Greece has built on its credibility over the last 2.5 years.

Referring to the measures and offset measures after the end of the programme, he said that it is a “fiscal neutral package.” He explained that some small pension cuts may be included but so would significant support to families.

Regarding the country’s strategy after the end of the programme, the minister said among other things, “We have promised to present the Greek growth programme in April, after the Greek Easter. Then it will be probably discussed at the Eurogroup. We will be ready for that discussion. We are working on the programme. The first objective is not to return to the model of the period before 2008 and second to form a comprehensive programme. We must take into account the profile of Greece, namely that it has many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and a large agricultural sector.”