There will be no fourth memorandum, Minister of State Alekos Flambouraris stated categorically on Sunday, while talking on local SKAI television. According to the minister, in the negotiations on the second review of the Greek programme, the government considered that talks on labour issues and pension matters were concluded.
“We continue to have the same position that we had initially with the creditors that the second review will conclude with the measures already taken, not with additional measures,” he said, adding that the government will steadfastly insist in restoring the national general collective labour agreement.
According to the minister, the government will carry out the measures it announced to alleviate poverty as soon as it had the necessary primary surplus, adding that the country will become a “worksite” as soon as it regained access to markets.
“There are many sectors where investments could be made, especially in the agriculture and foods sector that is almost neglected,” he noted.
He admitted that SYRIZA had been unable to reverse the damage done to labour relations and pensions when it came to power but also noted “the positive things we have done and the problems we were able to solve.”
“At this moment there are 2.5 million uninsured that have access to public health, while 300,000 wretched people that had restored to rubbish bins to find food are now buying food with coupons. There are investment programmes that are waiting to start while the highway projects that had stopped are now continuing,” he pointed out.
Asked whether the election of President-elect Donald Trump in the United States was likely to affect relations between Greece and Turkey, Flambouraris said he was optimistic that this would not be the case.
“In think and hope that there will be no problem because Mr. Trump was elected. And that the EU-Turkey agreement will continue to be implemented normally, so that both we and Europe are able to breathe,” he said.
He also hailed the importance of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Athens, noting that Obama had chosen Greece to speak about freedom, democracy and democratic institutions. “This shows that Greece, which had been isolated in the interantional milieu, has in the last two years developed close contacts with countries of Europe, the U.S., China, Russia and the Middle East that have particular importance in a globalised world,” he added.