Greece PM says won't accept strict EU conditions on COVID-19 aid: Report

Greece PM says won't accept strict EU conditions on COVID-19 aid: Report

FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hold a
FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis takes part in a joint news conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, Austria Mar 10, 2020. (REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo)

ATHENS: Greece will not accept strict European Union conditions on the use of the coronavirus emergency aid, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the Financial Times newspaper in an interview published on Sunday (Jul 5).

"Greeks have matured a lot. And we want to do our own reforms", he was quoted as saying

A six-monthly review of economic performance carried out by the European Commission was sufficient and that there was no need for any "additional strict conditionality," he said.

The prime minister told the FT that Greece had a very "aggressive reform agenda" that would focus on "the green transition", "the digital transition" and encouragements to investments in part through a privatisation programme.

On Friday, while speaking in parliament, he announced new measures worth 3.5 billion euros (US$3.9 billion) to support businesses hurt by a lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Greece emerged from a decade-long debt crisis in 2018 and was hoping for strong growth in 2020. But the nationwide lockdown imposed in March to prevent coronavirus infections has turned those expectations upside down.

The Greek economy is expected to shrink by about 8 per cent to 10 per cent this year before recovering in 2021.

Source: Reuters/kv

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