Greece must become more just and efficient to avoid a repeat of its economic crisis, its prime minister Alexis Tsipras said as he visited Paris to seek the blessings of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for a series of reforms he has promised.
Tsipras and OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria yesterday signed a deal for the body to help Greece improve labour markets, cut red tape, fight corruption, increase tax collection, and limit business collusion.
“Even if Greece’s debt was eliminated, the old problems would return if we don’t change,” Tsipras said. “Greece has been following failed policies for the past four years. Previous governments were working under blackmail by outsiders who only wanted internal devaluations and had no interest in structural reforms.”
Tsipras said Greece “cannot pretend” that its public debt burden is sustainable and that it’s “vital that it be restructured”.
He said that the primary surpluses demanded by the EU commission and the IMF are recessionary and unrealistic. “Public debt, if restructured, could be placed on a firm downward trajectory” even with a modest recovery, Tsipras said.
Gurria said the OECD was not seeking to substitute the IMF, the commission, and the ECB in setting conditions for Greece’s assistance programme.
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