Greece wants to stick with the July 21 agreement and will only discuss something that improves on this, government spokesman Ilias Mossialos stressed in statements to state-run NET radio on Thursday. He underlined the importance of not stepping back from the July 21 agreement, stressing its significance for Greece since the interests rates agreed for paying back loans would be lower and there would be a period of grace before payment of interest began.
The spokesman noted that no one had officially raised the issue of revising the agreements and that this was not an issue that Greece was seeking to open at this time.
Concerning the 6th tranche of bailout loans, Mossialos said that this was guaranteed provided that the country met its obligations, noting that the reforms for the public sector that the government had brought to Parliament were moving in this direction.
"We have brought the vote on the budget forward from December to early November, and we will do this because we are adopting a uniform stance toward the fiscal problem of 2011 and 2012, so that with the passing of the policies already announced in October and the budget in November we will be in a position to estimate, not just us but also the international community, that Greece will achieve primary surpluses as early as May-June 2012," he added.
Questioned about revised GDP figures for 2005-2010 announced on Thursday by ELSTAT, Greece's statistical authority, Mossialos said that these would not affect the draft budget targets since the differences were too small. Regarding main opposition New Democracy's claims that the government had proceeded to make a large number of public-sector appointments, Mossialos said that these had all been legitimate appointments made with the addition of new deputy ministers or the promotion of deputy ministers to alternate ministers that had "led to the creation of new offices".