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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Barroso says economic situation in Greece changes

  • [01] Barroso says economic situation in Greece changes

    European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, speaking after his meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Brussels on Wednesdaay afternoon, said that the economic situation in Greece has changed compared to what was happening a few weeks ago, due to the great efforts of the government and of Prime Minister George Papandreou, and the country is on the path enabling it to achieve the decrease in its deficit by 4 percentage units in 2010.

    Barroso said that there is no viable social prospect -for whatever country- with an increased public debt, while sending a message to the Greek people he said that the effort was necessary, not because Brussels wants it, Europe and the markets, but because their future is secured in this way.

    The Commission president said that the governments in the eurozone have agreed to help Greece in a clear way, if necessary, adding that the Commission is cooperating with these governments for the creation of the necessary mechanism.

    Barroso added that Papandreou had said that Greece did not need economic support at the moment, adding that the crisis required coordination with the eurozone and reiterating that the Greek prime minister was working day and night and the situation has started to improve.

    On his part, Papandreou said that Greece has fulfilled its obligations fully and stressed that the Stability and Growth Programme is ahead of the timetable since measures, whose taking had been predicted for May, have already been ratified, while reforms such as in social security have forged ahead.

    "We requested political support which was given, but at the same time we are borrowing with irrational interest rates and in this way a moral issue is also raised," Papandreou said, adding that "when you ask from one to cut back from his salary, whatever money is lost due to the interest rates."

    The Greek prime minister also said in his statements that all this crisis constitutes at the same time an opportunity for the eurozone as well.

    Replying to questions on Greece possibly resorting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Papandreou said that Greece took difficult decisions, showing its credibility at the same time, adding that "if the issue is for us to borrow very expensively, there are possibilities which we do not rule out."

    "We would prefer a European solution and we expect that this solution will take place," Papandreou stressed.

    Replying to the same question, Barroso said that the governments of the eurozone have said that they would support Greece if needed, and reiterated that the Greek prime minister did not request such a thing adding that the Commission was ready to coordinate the corresponding mechanism.

    Barroso also said that the EU is cooperating with the IMF, while stressing determination for a solution in the European framework.

    Papandreou further said that with a European solution Greece will show that it is the first country that will create a stronger economic governance, something that would also help the coordination of the eurozone.

    Regarding references by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the expulsion of countries from the eurozone, the Greek prime minister made it clear that Greece will not leave the eurozone, nor for "legal" reasons, and in addition "because now we are putting the economy in order".

    Papandreou said that the creation of apparatuses that will be useful in the future for support, if necessary, should be discussed as well as the monitoring of economies, but stressed that this concerns the future and possibly requires changes in conditions which, as he said, are in favour of changes, expressing his satisfaction that on the occasion of Greece the opportunity is being given for the coordination of the eurozone but, lastly, stressing that "now we are discussing how Greece will advance towards a viable path."

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