Greece's new government will press ahead with tax cuts for households and businesses despite skepticism from creditors, the country's finance minister said Tuesday after he and his Cabinet colleagues were sworn in.
Greece's third and final worldwide bailout ended last year and while the country does not rely on direct funds to meet its debt repayments, the previous government of prime minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to meet a series of budget targets over the coming years, even decades.
Mitsotakis had barely announced his Cabinet selection Monday evening when Greece's creditors bluntly rejected his calls to ease bailout conditions.More news: Father Ted star Brendan Grace dead at 68 after cancer battle
"Commitments are commitments, and if we break them, credibility is the first thing to fall apart". That brings about a lack of confidence and investment, " Eurogroup president Mario Centeno said after the meeting.
Greece ended its third consecutive global bailout last summer - programs that rescued the country's euro membership and staved off bankruptcy but also deepened poverty and unemployment as successive governments in Athens were forced to make spending cuts in return for the rescue loans. That condition has shackled government spending and, critics say, stifled the country's recovery. But his new government faces pressing financial challenges, including a national debt that exceeds 180 percent of GDP and banks saddled 45 percent of their loans unpaid or in trouble. "Mitsotakis [has] a strong mandate to implement his policy agenda".
Other key positions in the new Cabinet also went to seasoned political veterans.More news: Setbacks for Trump’s drive to lower prescription drug costs
"Welcome to a very special Outsiders where we're celebrating the election of a conservative government in Greece, the government of Kyrgios Mitsotakis", exclaimed one of the presenters, Rowan Dean, mispronouncing the Greek PM's first name, as tennis player's Nick Kyrgios' last name. Greece had previously received bail-outs from the European Union, and the imposition of strict measures had made the situation unteneable for the previous prime minister Alexis Tsipras. "Hard work begins today".
Mitsotakis appointed Christos Staikouras to the crucial post of finance minister.
The 51 members of the new government swore the oath of office on the Bible in a ceremony led by the Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos, in line with Greek tradition.More news: Tommy Robinson sentenced to nine months in jail