Tsipras rules out early election; hints at cabinet reshuffle  

Tsipras rules out early election; hints at cabinet reshuffle  

Thessaloniki, September 11, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Zacharias Petrou

Speaking at the annual press conference held on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Sunday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ruled out the possibility of snap elections, pointing out that the country needs stability.

Tsipras said Greece is an “oasis of stability” in an unstable wider region, while predicting that the country will soon exit the economic crisis once and for all. “The Greek economy will post significant growth in 2017” the PM pointed out.

Asked if he would carry out a cabinet reshuffle, he said such decisions are never announced before they are actually implemented. Asked whether or not State Minister Nikos Pappas will be moved to another ministry – which Pappas has said he wouldn’t like – the PM said Pappas is not the one to decide that.

Responding to questions on TV licensing, Tsipras said the previous governments failed to do what his government did, which is to put order in a market that was left to operate in an illegitimate framework. He added that he is interested in safeguarding all the jobs of employees at existing stations.

The Greek premier revealed that the government is close to announcing good news on the debt issue.

“The present primary surplus targets until 2018 were those agreed following the negotiations in the summer of 2015 […] Whether these will stay the same or be reduced after 2018 depend on the decisions taken for Greece’s debt on a European and international level”.

Moreover, Tsipras pointed out that the issue of Greece’s debt “sustainability” cannot be linked with the result of elections in other European countries.

Asked about the difficult upcoming talks with the country’s creditors as part of the second bailout program review, the PM said Greece now has allies in Europe and “we enter the negotiations on labor relations with more optimism” than before.