Main opposition New Democracy attacked the government on Monday, accusing it of “hypocrisy,” while noting that a letter sent by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos to the institutions was essentially a “humiliating letter of apology.”
In order to persuade the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to unlock the short-term debt relief measures for Greece — originally approved on December 5 and subsequently suspended — Tsakalotos had essentially promised to never again give pensioners a one-off cash bonus, ND said in an announcement.
“At the same time, the Tsipras government has booby-trapped the country’s course by agreeing to primary surplus targets of 3.5% of GDP that cannot be achieved for many years. How many more times will they issue announcements celebrating the constant austerity without any return that they have imposed on the Greek people,” the announcement added.
Sources in Brussels earlier told the ANA that Tsakalotos’ letter was a “good starting point for an agreement between the four institutions.” They noted that the letter was “well written” but that additional negotiations will be needed for a final agreement to be reached.
Commenting on the results of a meeting between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Davos, the sources said it confirmed the necessity of the IMF’s participation in the Greek program.