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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-03-21

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Karamanlis, Schroeder discuss EU funding, Stability Pact, Turkey's EU prospects
  • [02] Greece satisfied with deal to reform EU Stability Pact, FinMin says

  • [01] Karamanlis, Schroeder discuss EU funding, Stability Pact, Turkey's EU prospects

    The EU's fiscal prospects in the 2007-2013 period, the Union's Stability Pact, the Lisbon Strategy and Turkey's European prospects dominated talks in Berlin on Monday between visiting Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    As far as Turkey is concerned -- and ahead of Karamanlis' dinner with his Turkish counterpart on Monday in Brussels -- both leaders agreed that Ankara must meet its commitments vis-a-vis the European Union.

    "The Greek government supports Turkey's European course. I want to underline, though, that it is important that the Turkish government implement the conditions and prerequisites that are placed in every step of the procedure. Within this framework I am obliged to stress, once again, that the Turkish government must sign the Protocol of Ankara in a timely manner," Karamanlis said.

    On his part, Schroeder said specific commitments have been agreed to for beginning of EU-Turkey accession negotiations on Oct. 3, and that those commitments must not materialise "only on paper, but also be implemented".

    He also concurred with Karamanlis over the need for Ankara to meet its obligations, adding: "There are yearly progress reports, as you know, and we can also incorporate the issue of implementation," the German chancellor said in reply to a press question over calls from within his own party favoring a change in the date for commencing EU-Turkey negotiations.

    In citing differences between Athens and Berlin over the 4th Community Support Framework (CSF), Schroeder said the two countries have completely different views, as Germany is the Union's largest contributor, whereas Greece is a country that receives EU funding. While noting that an "identity of views" is not possible, he aid there will be contacts between experts to discuss the matter more thoroughly as part of efforts to converge those views.

    Both men, conversely, agreed with an ECOFIN meeting decision revising the Stability and Development Pact, with Karamanlis stressing that the decision is very positive for the Union because it restores the Pact's credibility and also facilitates development in Europe.

    [02] Greece satisfied with deal to reform EU Stability Pact, FinMin says

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on Monday expressed his satisfaction over an agreement reached to reform a Stability Pact in Eurozone.

    Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Alogoskoufis said the agreement ensured that the Pact was more flexible and more easy to be implemented.

    "With the reform we have a Stability Pact better both for Europe and Greece," the Greek minister said. He underlined the Greek government's particular satisfaction over the acceptance of some of its recommendations, such as a longer time period for Eurozone member-states -with excessive fiscal deficits- to achieve fiscal stability, and taking in mind of investments in infrastructure projects in evaluating a country's fiscal deficit.

    Commenting on the Greek economy, Alogoskoufis said that a reformed Stability Pact was not creating new facts, since the government was trying to address past budget burdens.

    The relative flexibility of the Pact covered only Eurozone member-states with fiscal deficits of around 3.0 percent of their Gross Domestic Product and not those with very high fiscal deficits, the Greek minister said. He added that Greece must reduce its public debt since over-indebted countries were more vulnerable to international interest rate fluctuations.


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