In an interview with Skai TV, Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said Athens was intent on meeting its debt obligations on time but also on retaining the required reserves. Regarding all the chatter about a possible Greek exit from the eurozone, Mardas described it as “a virtual reality” scenario.
- The government would draft a new mid-term program which would adopt spending and revenue targets to the provisions of a new deal.
- Rules out the possibility of the contents of safety deposit boxes at banks being opened to be taxed.
- Greeks should declare their assets.
- “On the basis of current data, we can pay our obligations.”
- Conclusions being reached abroad about the state of the Greek economy “use other hypotheses and research than the ones we use.”
- Only Greece’s General Accounting Office knows the real figures.”
And just in case things go from bad to worse with Greece’s creditors, their is always Moscow.
The aides of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Greek and Russian embassies in Moscow and Athens, are feverishly preparing for a scheduled visit by Tsipras to the Russian capital on April 8 and 9 which the Greek government hopes will serve to significantly upgrade bilateral ties.
According to a well-informed source, Tsipras is expected to seek agreement for a “road map” of initiatives on the political and economic levels.
Talks are expected to touch on several topics of bilateral interest, including “commercial and financial cooperation, investments, energy, tourism and cooperation in matters of education and culture,” according to Tsipras’s office. Other topics on the agenda include “the relationship between Russia and the European Union, as well as regional and international issues.”
Tsipras is expected to emphasize Greece’s respect for its commitments as a member of the European Union and NATO on the one hand while underlining his conviction that the European Union’s “security architecture” should include Russia. Amid European concerns about Greece’s position vis-a-vis EU sanctions against Russia, Greek officials have sought to offer reassurances, suggesting that Athens will not actively oppose the EU line. But sources close to Tsipras said the government will continue to express its disagreement with sanctions as a policy.
As for a likely bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, a high-ranking government source told Kathimerini that Greece “will reassure the Russians, not the Westerners.” According to sources, Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis has already agreed in principle to a proposal made by the head of Russian giant Gazprom, Alexey Miller, for a new gas pipeline through Turkey to be extended through Greek territory. The plan foresees the creation of a consortium in which Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) would play a key role along with Russian funds and possibly also European clients of Gazprom, Kathimerini understands.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.