Take advantage of what we did

Former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras believes it’s time for a more flexible economic policy in the country and has told his main political rival to make good use of what he achieved over the last four years.Tsipras, who was elected as prime minister back in 2015 on an anti-austerity platform, oversaw the third, and last, bailout program that the embattled Greek economy received. He put forward hundreds of measures at the demand of creditors, which aimed at cutting red tape and increasing labor market flexibility, among other policy areas. However, Tsipras’ premiership ended in July, after a snap election gave an outright majority to the conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.”(Mitsotakis) has to work and to move forward in order to take advantage of what we did in the last four-and-a-half years,” Tsipras, leader of the Syriza party, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum, Italy, at the weekend.After a decade of financial difficulties, three bailout programs and billions of funds borrowed, Greece returned to growth in 2017. However, Athens only ended its last bailout in August of 2018.”The most important (thing) he has to do is to try to have a better future for the country with a more flexible policy, especially in relation with the primary surpluses,” Tsipras added.Greece committed to deliver a primary budget surplus with its creditors (this is when a government has higher revenues compared to its spending) of 3.5% until 2022. However, the opposition, as well as the current conservative government, believe that could be too demanding. A lower primary budget surplus target would give more policy leeway for the current government. Speaking to CNBC earlier this year, Mitsotakis said that it was also his intention to ask international creditors to lower Greece’s fiscal targets.Speaking at the weekend, Tsipras added: “I have declared if (Mitsotakis) wants to have an ally in order to fight for better results for the people, I will be there.” But he added that if he retracts the work that Greece has already done with the EU, “I will be on the opposite side.”

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