Tsipras’ end of austerity a fairy tale, says former PM Simitis

Former Greek prime minister Costas Simitis, addressing the Delphi Economic Forum on Friday, dismissed claims made by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that Greece will be free to implement its own programme and end austerity in August 2018, calling them a “fairy tale”.

There were many reasons why Mr. Tsipras claims will not materialise, said Simitis, and he referred to forecasts in the European Commission’s report that Greece’s debt will be reduced to 79.5 percent of the GDP in 42 years and remain much higher than the appropriate level (60 percent of GDP).

Simitis noted that surveillance for Greece will continue for the foreseeable future, adding that “the shrinking of the economic base, divestment and skyrocketing unemployment create many constraints that leave very slight margins for action.” Greece also lagged in terms of competitiveness, social equity, unemployment, corruption and justice, he added.