Moscovici warns Mitsotakis not to undermine Eurogroup’s deal on Greece

Eurogroup 20th anniversary meeting [PA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND]

EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has warned Greek conservative opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis not to undermine the credibility of Greece’s deal with the Eurogroup and the exit of the country from the bailout “for reasons of internal politics”, a source close to the Commissioner told EURACTIV.com.

“The Commissioner invited him [Mitsotakis] not to undermine the credibility of the 21 June agreement, which is good for Greece and its future, for reasons of internal politics,” the source emphasised.

On 22 June, the Eurogroup reached a “historic” deal on debt relief for Greece, clearing the last political hurdle to conclude its rescue programme after a series of bailouts lasting more than eight years.

On Tuesday, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged Moscovici to “be careful” when  praising the Greek government in public and talking about a “clean exit” from the bailout.

Moscovici visited Greece on 3 July and told MPs that the bailout programmes were over for Greek people who could look forward to a new era.

“Greece will walk with the partners next to her, but will be free and autonomous,” Moscovici told the Greek Parliament.

New Democracy scolds Moscovici for backing clean exit from bailout

Greece’s conservative main opposition party “recommended” to EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici to be “more careful” in his public speeches when he praises the government and the country’s exit from the bailout.

Focus on Greek people, not internal politics

The source explained that Commissioner Moscovici had a half-hour meeting in Athens yesterday with Mitsotakis to discuss the agreement reached at the 21 Eurogroup and the next steps in the process.

“The meeting was very frank and direct. Mr Mitsotakis shared his fierce political and personal criticism of the agreement. These criticisms were also relayed by MPs close to Mr Mitsotakis during yesterday’s parliamentary debate. Commissioner Moscovici replied to him point by point, stressing that post-programme surveillance is in no sense a fourth programme,” the source noted.

Finally, according to the source, Moscovici stated that the EU executive does not get involved in domestic political debates but “works to defend the interests of the Greek people as a whole”.

Speaking at the European Parliament on Wednesday, Moscovici noted that some politicians in Athens “should better measure what they are saying” as “enhanced surveillance is not a fourth programme”.

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