Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says he would not subject the country to the oversight by the “troika” of the EU, the European Central Bank, and the IMF which devastated Greece during the country’s debt crisis in 2008.
The Prime Minister noted that the European troika forced Greece “to do reforms” despite the fact “there was never really any domestic buy-in.”
He added: “Greeks have matured a lot. And we want to do our own reforms.”
Meanwhile, northern EU countries, such as Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, oppose the European Commission’s €750 billion recovery fund.
“I don’t think any additional strict conditionality is necessary,” Mitsotakis said, noting southern EU member countries see it as “politically unacceptable.”
Mitsotakis defended his decisions to implement a strict response to COVID-19. “It was very obvious to me that at some point we needed to go into full lockdown mode. And my political decision was to do it sooner rather than later.”
This summer, Greece will only see a “fraction” of the 33 million tourists of 2019. “We have a very, very aggressive reform agenda,” said the Prime Minister, noting it includes a green and digital transition.
“Covid did a lot to discredit those who believe that there are easy and simplified solutions to complicated problems, and those who always want to hold somebody else accountable for their own shortcomings,” he said. “This doesn’t work when you have to save lives on a daily basis and I think people realise that, not just in Greece but also at the global level.”