The Greek Ambassador to the United States, Christos Panagopoulos, said that the reforms creditors require in order to sign Greece’s third bailout will not cure the country’s ailing economy.
Panagopoulos spoke to USA Today’s Owen Ullmann and said that the Yanis Varoufakis contingency plan to exit the euro was not a Greek government decision but an idea the former Finance Minister had, adding that the authorities should look into this.
Regarding the bailout program of the past five years, the Greek Ambassador said it created huge unemployment and a substantial drop of GDP. The new bailout program should offer Greece the opportunity for growth and return to the open markets.
Panagopoulos said that some of the reforms creditors require are recessionary, such as the VAT raise in tourism, an industry that is the biggest contributor to Greece’s GDP.
The Greek Ambassador also said that tourists visiting Greece will have no problems whatsoever since capital controls apply only to Greek citizens and not to visitors who have accounts in foreign banks, while they can also use credit cards.