The EU's positive reception of Greece's request to cancel the pension cutbacks scheduled for January 1 "is a decisive step towards abolishing forever the measure that was legislated (?) after demands by the International Monetary Fund," Greek Government Spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Friday.

At a briefing, the spokesman said that "this measure was not needed towards meeting the 2019 target for a primary surplus, and we explained our stance to the European Commision."

Commenting on the draft budget for 2019 that Greece and other eurozone members submitted to the European Union, Tzanakopoulos said "it is the first time the Greek state budget contains rational measures of fiscal expansion in ten years, and this will give a great boost" to the Greek economy.

Among other things, the spokesman attacked main opposition party New Democracy for its insistence on talking negatively about the economy and forecasting disasters, "but the Greek people understand who it is that has managed to stabilize the Greek economy and who has put an end to the recessional spiral of cutbacks."

He also called on all sides to support the agreement between the state and church, which he said will benefit all sides.