He promised French entrepreneurs tax cuts and privatizations.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis asked for the French President Emmanuel Macron’s support towards his reform program, in order to change the economic policy mix, so that the reduction in primary surpluses can be dealt with at a later time.
“I want to change the narrative in European capitals. We are now a confident country, that participates in major European debates and has the potential to be a pleasant surprise on a developmental level in the years ahead”, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis commented during his talks with Greek journalists after the meeting in the Elysée Palace.
The Prime Minister, who called on French entrepreneurs to invest in Greece, expects French support for a development shock to occur in our country. Regarding whether Europe is facing recession and whether this is affecting the goal of reducing surpluses, Mr. Mitsotakis stated that “when we find ourselves in a growth trap, we must use all the tools we have; focusing on growth as a top priority is something we all fully agree on”.
As the issue of the Turkish comportment in the Eastern Mediterranean and the provocations towards Cyprus were also discussed during the meeting –it was brought up by President Macron himself in the statements he made – the Prime Minister commented that “there is European solidarity; Europe will not leave Cyprus unprotected”.
In general, the Prime Minister considers the reinforcement of the country’s credibility to be his absolute priority, and that is why he commences his plan by reducing business taxation to 24% for the 2019 profits and to 20% next year. In this context, he stays on board with what he had stated in the pre-election campaign regarding primary surpluses reduction (which is considered an unalienable commitment on his behalf), that the issue will be in line with the country’s credibility for 2021 and that both the implementation of the current budget as well as the compliance with the commitment for 2020 will come first. Of course, the response from Berlin over the surpluses issue next week is of higher importance.
According to sources on the Mitsotakis-Macron meeting, the possibility of French investments in our country was discussed, with the government estimating that there are specific projects with a sufficient degree of development. Figaro published in an article that the Greek government is prepared to promote the privatization of the water and electricity company, as well as regional airports. The government believes that all the tools needed to get out of the crisis should be put in use.
Strengthening defense co-operation was also discussed, as arm programs were already on the table from the previous government’s discussions. Time will tell.
According to sources, during the Prime Minister’s meeting with the French President, discussions also involved the developments in the European Union as well as the prospect of the progressive space being redefined through convergences and alliances on issues of common interest, such as climate change, from the conservatives’ side with the liberals, the Greens and the socialists, in order for changes Europe needs to be pushed.
Finally, there was a discussion on cultural issues in view of the year 2021, which will be emblematic for Greece. From the Greek side there is a proposal for an exhibition in Greece of the Parthenon sculptures that are kept in Louvre, with a corresponding exhibition in the Louvre museum of bronze sculptures that have not yet left Greece. The issue is being discussed by the two countries’ Ministries of Culture in order to promote its implementation, but the position the Maximos Mansion keeps is that we need to be flexible in such matters. /ibna