Deputy prime minister Yannis Dragasakis on Wednesday reiterated that a closely watched real estate development, billed as one of the biggest or biggest in Europe currently, will proceed as planned, "but without institutional procedures sidestepped".
Dragasakis, a veteran leftist politician that's considered as one of the Greek prime minister's closest advisers and with a technocrat's background, was referring to the massive Helleniko development project in coastal southeast Athens. The multi-billion-euro investment has faced a bevy of bureaucratic and political obstacles since an international consortium led by Athens-based Lamda Development won a relevant tender. The specific investment is also directly cited in memorandums as a privatization that the Greek government must implement.
Speaking on the public radio, Dragasakis also pledged that his leftist-rightist coalition government will have implemented 80 percent of "prior actions" demanded by creditors in the current bailout program by a scheduled Eurogroup meeting in November.
In answer to question referring to statements this week by both ECB President Mario Draghi and Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, which essentially opened the way for "stress tests" to be applied to Greece's systemic banks before the end of the third bailout in August 2018, Dragasakis said:
"The government has done what is necessary so that (Greek) banks can again become banks. The successful recapitalization was confirmed by European institutions. Afterwards, there are only positive developments for the country and (Greek) economy," he answered.
Conducting "stress tests" on Greek banks before the bailout ends and prior to scheduled audits of other Eurozone banks in October 2018 has been a standing IMF demand over the recent period, with European institutions apparently acquiescing to a compromise over the matter.
Dragasakis countered that when Cyprus exited its memorandum program no further "stress tests" were conducted for its banks. He also wondered, out loud, whether "some parties want to solve other issues, such as the presence of the IMF in Europe, through Greece."
He also mentioned significant losses by bank shares over the recent period at the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), charging that the IMF's stance has caused "confusion".
"It's the duty of all relevant institutions and authorities to deflect destabilizing actions," he said.