Under its current agreement with creditors, Greece has to hit the 3.5 percent level of budget surplus until 2022 or else it does not receive concrete debt relief measures. Nonetheless, Mitsotakis said he would seek to renegotiate that threshold.
“Mr Tsipras has agreed to primary surpluses of 3.5 percent until 2022. I think this is a very, very strict, (a) very strict target. I’ve said from the beginning that I respect the agreements made by the current government, but I’ve also told my European partners that should we be able to deliver real reforms, we should be rewarded with smaller primary surpluses, at least in 2021 and 2022,” he said.
“This is not about confrontation. And at the end of the day whether we have a primary surplus let’s say in 2021 of 3 or 2.5 percent, it’s not going to make a big difference in terms of our overall debt sustainability. But symbolically it would be a reward for a country that is actually engaging in meaningful reforms,” Mitsotakis added.
Greece’s finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, said in December that overshooting fiscal targets was a way to boost credibility in the embattled economy, according to the Financial Times.
The Greek Treasury issued its first post-bailout bond last month, getting 2.5 billion euros ($2.87 billion) in a five-year bond auction. Tsakalotos said at the time that there has been “a major shift” from hedge funds to regular investors, indicating that investors are starting to find the Greek debt market more attractive.