The European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pierre Moscovici argued that Greece cannot be sentenced to austerity indefinitely and responded to criticism by the International Monetary Fund, in an article he published in the Financial Times.
In his article the EU economic policy chief addressed the recent claims of senior IMF officials who claimed that the Greek debt is highly unsustainable and as such requires further tax and pension reforms. “In this era of ‘post-truth’ politics, it is more important than ever not to let certain claims go unchallenged” Moscovici noted, adding that Greece has made “unprecedented efforts [including] major reforms of the pension, personal income tax and VAT systems”.
Later on the European Commissioner stressed that the Greek government is finally tuning a page and is implementing such a demanding bailout program, as evident by the fiscal developments and surpluses. As such Moscovici called for swift agreement on “credible fiscal target” for beyond 2018 (when the current program ends). These targets though must “not overestimate Greece’s ability to meet them without undermining growth . . . but nor should they be based on deliberately pessimistic projections, or tied to demands that are politically impossible, economically undesirable and socially unacceptable”.
In concluding, the European Commissioner underlined that the “political leaders of the eurozone and of Greece’s creditor institutions must now take the initiative”, while adding that “we need all partners on board, taking a shared responsibility in achieving this”.