The Minister of Finance Euclid Tsakalotos appeared confident that the Greek government will achieve its fiscal targets for 2016 and therefore the automatic budget adjustment mechanism will not be necessary.

In a Monday interview on ERT 1, the Finance Minister argued that he intends to conclude the second bailout program review as soon as possible. Mr. Tsakalotos further noted that the capital controls are gradually being lifted, but expressed his concern over businesses shutting down.

Asked about the high taxes, the Finance Minister responded that the SYRIZA government is not to blame, bur rather the previous government which never managed to address the tax evasion.

In relation to the critical negotiations in 2015, Mr. Tsakalotos underline that the Greek people asked the government fight and negotiation, but the government had to face a “learning curve”. He also dismissed the recent estimation by the ESM’s Klaus Regling that the negotiations cost Greece 100 billion euros.

Additionally, the Minister announced that three bills will be tabled in Parliament by 5 August – for electronic payments, the volunteer disclosure of undeclared income and to tackle the illicit trade of tobacco. The government, he explained, aims to tackle tax evasion in order to be able to reduce the VAT and other taxes.

Finally, the Finance Minister expressed his opposition to the possibility of an ‘ecumenical government’, arguing that “we cannot agree with New Democracy” and that all-party governments are so broad that they weaken democracy.