The state budget of 2019 that will be tabled on Wednesday in parliament will be, for the first time after 10 years, the budget of a calculated fiscal extension that will include all the measures the prime minister announced at Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) and will exceed 750 million euros reaching 900 million euros, stated government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos on Tuesday at his briefing to the press.
“The positions of the Greek government that the pension cuts measure is of fiscal character and useless for the meeting of the 3.5 percent primary surplus target, appears to have fallen on sympathetic ears during the elaboration of the Greek state budget in the context of the European semester and we are certain that the European Commission’s report, that will be published on Wednesday morning, will be positive” said Tzanakopoulos.
Referring to the State-Church issue, he said that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has ordered Education Minister Costas Gavroglou to launch a series of meetings with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, the Archbishop of Crete, Irineos as well as with the metropolitans of the Dodecanese in order several poinst of the proposed agreement that may have not been clear from the beginning to be fully clarified.
“The government will exhaust all the room for dialogue and consultation with the Church in the framework and the spirit of the agreement which was announced at prime minister and Archbishop Ieronymos’ joint statements as we believe that there can’t be a more advantageous framework for the Church” Tzanakopoulos underlined.
The government attempts to solve a problem that is pending for the last 80 years, the government is not in a rush or under pressure. However, the Church must understand that it is not responsible to decide on issues that fall under the state’s exclusive jurisdiction.
Referring to the state’s stance, Tzanakopoulos said that “we will draw up the draft law in the next period because our wish is the mutual understanding and consensus. In any case, the final decisions will be taken by the prime minister and the government when the time comes”.