“The 2016 budget proves our will and ability to lead a great and difficult social effort amid extremely difficult and adverse conditions,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in Parliament during the debate on budget.
The prime minister stressed that this budget is a test for the government which wants to promote social justice in conditions of budgetary constraint and difficulty. “And behind the numbers, one can see the efforts made to support the labour forces and the most vulnerable social groups,” he said early on Sunday.
The government’s aim is the deep transformation of the production and social model of the country, the support of labour rights, the expansion of the welfare state, the protection of public property, the fair taxation, and the environmental protection, Tsipras noted. “But these objectives require the radical reform of the correlations in Greece and throughout the EU. And these do not change from one day to another,” Tsipras underlined adding that political will is also needed.
The prime minister also stated the Greece has put an end to scenarios of some EU circles that wanted Greece out of the Schengen zone.
“We intensify our efforts, we correct our mistakes, we speed up the procedures and I hope that you will assist our efforts,” the prime minister said.
“The agreement has secured the partial restructuring of debt with a 1.3 pct interest rate and has covered our needs until 2019. Moreover, the average maturity of loans has increased to 33 years,” Tsipras stated adding that the discussion on the necessary debt reduction will start after the first evaluation. “This new perspective of debt sustainability, combined with the successful recapitalization of banks and the subsequent upgrades of the country by international agencies, will make the European Central Bank (ECB) open its quantitative easing program to Greece as of the next year, thus reducing the capital costs for Greek banks,” he stressed.
Therefore, Tsipras explained, the necessary confidence climate is being gradually created for robust credit growth and the return of deposits to Greek banks.