The government opposes the forecasts featured in the European Commission’s third enhanced surveillance report, which estimates that the 120-installment debt settlement, the VAT rate reduction and the 13th pension will have a budget cost of 1% of GDP from 2019 onwards.

The Finance Ministry insists that the general government’s primary surplus for 2019 will be at 4.1% of the GDP, thus exceeding the target by 0.6 points and creating a corresponding fiscal space. Given that the measures have been estimated at 0.6% of the GDP, the Finance Ministry is certain that the target for 2019 will be reached. “The measures are within the fiscal space”, said Labour Minister Effie Achtsioglou, when questioned about the report in an interview at TV channel Alpha.

Ms. Achtsioglou said: “This is not the first time the Commission underestimates the fiscal space we have. Every time, over the years, there has been an underestimation of the available space and, at the end of the year, we ended up having super surplus and social dividends. “