The deal that the government is currently negotiating with Greece´s creditors will not include even one euro´s worth of additional austerity, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Tuesday, during the regular press briefing. The spokesman was categoric on this point, repeating the statement four times while talking to reporters:
"I can assure the Greek people that this government is working hard and trying to achieve an agreement that does not include additional austerity," he insisted at one point, AMNA reported.
Questioned about the tight deadlines before the next Eurogroup on Monday, Tzanakopoulos said that a positive development on February 20 was very likely "provided the expectations are confirmed over the next few days and all sides involved in the Greek programme adopt a constructive stance."
He said the government´s optimism on this score was buoyed by new elements that "redefine the reality and create the possibility of a compromise solution within the timeframe," adding that this was the government´s goal.
The spokesman also pointed to a visit by European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici in Athens on Wednesday. He noted that the government expects a constructive stance during the negotiations on completing the second review.
All the sides involved now consider that the Greek issue is a "political matter," Tzanakopoulos noted. As a result, he added, there was no point in continuing the talks on a technical level without a decision on the guiding axes on which they will be based.
"The political negotiation of the last two months, at least, has brought results, it has shifted correlations and created a terrain on which an agreement can be built that is capable of satisfying all the sides involved. This is the scenario on which the government is working," he said.
Without going into details regarding the negotiation, Tzanakopoulos said the government will be using the European Commission´s figures in the talks, not those of the IMF. He also denied that the institutions had proposed measures equivalent to 2 pct of Greek GDP.
If the targets for primary surpluses are set and the corresponding dates decided, then calculating the medium-term measures was simply a matter of "an equation with one unknown variable," he added.
Lastly, Tzanakopoulos made it clear that the government was fully united in backing a single line, with no differentiation and that SYRIZA´s Parliamentary group was solid and unified to the utmost degree.