Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos presented Athens’ arguments about why pension cuts due to take effect in January are not necessary, and solicited the backing of German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, during talks in Berlin today.

The two ministers, along with Pierre Moscovici, the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, met on the sidelines of a meeting of the Ecofin Ministerial Network of EU finance ministers, who belong to the Party of European Socialists (PES).

During the discussions, Tsakalotos presented the position of the Greek government, the main argument of which is that the latest fiscal data justify  the projection that there will be fiscal space beyond the 3.5 percent primary surplus target, not only for 2018, but for 2019 and subsequent years.

The precise level of the primary surplus in the coming years is the subject of ongoing discussions between Athens and creditors.

Tsakalotos maintained that it would be well to launch a discussion on how the projected fiscal space can best be exploited through 2022.