"I think we are ready to put Greece back on a path of strong growth," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with BBC's Hardtalk on Thursday, and added that "what I want is to ensure that economic growth will be shared in a fair way. For me, this will be the biggest challenge I will face."
Consolidating the country's credibility would pave the way for a reduction of primary surpluses below 3.5 pct of GDP, he said.
Asked if his ambitious tax cuts plan endangers social benefits and pensions, the prime minister categorically rejected any such possibility, and said that "no one is talking about any kind of cuts to our insurance system."
"The first round of personal and corporate tax cuts, and ENFIA (property tax) will start on January 1, 2020. I am sure we have the fiscal space to incorporate these into the 2020 budget," he said.
Asked about the under-representation of women in his cabinet, which has only two women in a total of 22 ministers, Mitsotakis also said he wanted to see more women take on roles in politics. He claimed that there were not many women "who were interested in stepping into politics these days."
"We put a quota for women, 40 pct of our candidates were women, which is a big step forward. But if you look at the composition of parliament, we don’t have 40 pct of women in parliament," clarified Mitsotakis.
Praising the imput of women politicians, the Greek premier said that he "asked a lot of women to join the cabinet, they were much more hesitant than men to do so. So I’m not happy about our gender composition, I openly acknowledged it."
Looking ahead to more women joining his newly sworn-in cabinet, Mitsotakis said that "the women that we have are extremely capable, I’m sure they’re going to do a fantastic job and I’m sure that they’re going to help other women to join the cabinet when we have our first reshuffle."