Greek Finance Minister Tsakalotos Says SYRIZA Government Made Mistakes in 2015



Euclid Tsakalotos has been Greece’s Finance Minister since July, 2015. File photo

Speaking at an event in Paris on Wednesday evening, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos admitted that the SYRIZA government made mistakes during the 2015 negotiations with European and international creditors of Greece.

Tsakalotos said in front of an audience at the Paris School of International Affairs that the Greek government had thought that its high public debt could be used as a leverage to help Greece’s side during the negotiations.

However, during the later stages of the negotiations, they understood that the EU, and especially the Germans, were determined to keep Greece in the Eurozone, making their Grexit “threat” invalid.

The second mistake Tsakalotos claimed was made in 2015 was his government’s belief that they would be able to easily, and drastically, reduce the problems of tax evasion and corruption in Greece.

The Finance Minister admitted that after a few months in power, the government saw how difficult that would be, and despite the progress which has indeed been made since then, the situation is still difficult.

Referring to political alliances in Europe, ahead of the crucial European elections in May, Tsakalotos noted that he is in favor of alliances between the Left, the Socialists and the Greens.

He used as an example the governing coalition in Portugal between the Socialists, the radical Left and the Communists, as well as the recent co-operation between Spain’s Socialists and the radical left Podemos party.

”We could develop a range of policies, for example fifteen, and each side, Red and Green, could agree on some of these,” Tsakalotos explained.

The Greek finance minister also noted that he would like the same to happen in Greece, as SYRIZA is open to non-SYRIZA progressive politicians, to form a progressive front against the right and the far-right.