Finance Minister Christos Staikouras spoke to SKAI and the program “Kalimera” with Giorgos Autias about the costing of the parties’ programs and the country’s cash reserves.

“Today the cash reserves of the country are 38 billion euros”, said the Minister of Finance.

Regarding the costing of the parties’ programs, the Minister of Finance emphasized that “this is our proposal. When I was deputy finance minister, we instituted the independent fiscal council, which was then staffed by SYRIZA. This independent board is required to report on the data before the budget is submitted. We propose, after the elections, that all the parties agree so that this independent fiscal council is obliged to do the costing of the programs before the elections, as is done in some European countries.”

“We have confidence in these institutions to make a correct, rational evaluation and for the citizens to have a complete and objective picture of the costing of the pre-election programs”, added Mr. Staikouras, pointing out that the government’s measures “were not only costed but are part of fiscal stability program sent by the Ministry of Finance to the European Commission, like all EU countries. So, we are accountable for our program inside and outside Greece and it is costed by the institutions. Since last summer, the country has been in a regime of normality, after it has exited the regime of enhanced supervision that was entered by SYRIZA”.

Also, the finance minister criticized the official opposition’s program, stressing that “SYRIZA’s program is over 80 billion, it is 83 billion euros. In response to Mr. Tsipras who says that every three months we change the costing of his measures… We do not change the costing of the measures. It adds measures, resulting in the bill going up.”

“There is a risk that the country will once again fall into the memoranda depending on the program that will follow. Today, the country borrows at a lower cost than Italy. And this is because there is credibility and seriousness in the exercise of economic policy. When Tsipras says that education and health spending will increase, these alone are more than 9 billion euros. They avoid costing. Or they vaguely claim that billions will come from somewhere to cover the fiscal costs,” added Mr. Staikouras, emphasizing that “the ND’s program is realistic and covers all of Greek society.”