The former Governor of the Bank of Greece Giorgos Provopoulos revealed that the in May 2008 he the head of the IMF’s mission to Greece at the time Bob Traa has estimated that Greece’s debts were over 800% of the GDP.

According to Mr. Provopoulos, who made the revelation at the annual meeting of the Federation of Hellenic Food Industries (SEVT), these estimates were included in a report on the Greek economy. Mr. Provopoulos commented that in spite of the report, they chose to ignore what was happening. He also revealed that the actuarial debt of Greek pension funds at the time was 400% of the GDP.

Later on the former central banker was highly critical and dismissive of the fiscal policy that was implemented at the start of the crisis. Mr. Provopoulos was also doubtful as to whether Greece will exit the crisis, likening the situation to “being stuck in a minefield”.

Finally Mr. Provopoulos criticized the policy of constant tax hikes, underlining that “taxes will not bring growth, but rather lead the economy to a vicious cycle”.