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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-02-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Papandreou meets Eurogroup head Juncker
  • [02] Greek FinMin, troika continue round of talks
  • [03] Samaras meets Juncker ´╗┐

  • [01] PM Papandreou meets Eurogroup head Juncker

    "The euro is not at risk and will survive; and Greece will survive thanks to the euro," visiting Eurogroup chairman and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker stressed on Tuesday after talks with Prime Minister George Papandreou at Maximos Mansion, the government headquarters, in Athens.

    Present in the meeting were Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

    Juncker stated that the repayment period for the Greek debt must be extended and expressed EuropeÔs full support to the efforts made by Greece, saying characteristically, that "everybody in Europe admires Greece except from a few idiots".

    As regards the repayment of the Greek debt, Juncker said that the EU consensus has been ensured and expressed support to the programme implemented by the Greek government, adding that more measures will be adopted if the goals set are not fully met.

    On the Competitiveness Pact discussion underway in Europe and due to culminate with the March 25 Summit meeting, Juncker said that a proposal has been made by Germany and France. Greece and Luxembourg are in favour of competitiveness but they were not satisfied with the latest Council meeting, he said, adding that the proposals made by Germany and France are being studied.

    On his part, Prime Minister Papandreou referred to the issues discussed with the Eurogroup chairman while, as regards the European debt crisis, he said that Europe must make the necessary decisions soon.

    He added that Greece wants a comprehensive solution to the issue and referring to the programme implemented by the government, he stressed that "we have received a mandate from the Greek people to proceed with major reforms and thatÔs what we do".

    "We were forced by the debt and the deficits to adopt extraordinary measures to salvage the country," the premier said, adding that now the goal set is to change the country. "We proceed with a series of changes that are unrelated with the extraordinary measures and the message sent is that Greece is on the right track and the Greek people should be optimistic about the future," he stressed.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    ´╗┐

    [02] Greek FinMin, troika continue round of talks

    Greek Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou on Tuesday met with the heads of a troika delegation, as part of a regular inspection of the Greek economy.

    Finance ministry officials said the inspections focused on accelerating structuring reforms and noted that the country has secured payment of the fourth tranche of an IMF/EU loan. They also stressed that troika officials did not think there was a problem with pledges undertaken by the country, or timetables of implementing measures while they also did not particularly worry over fiscal consolidation. Their aim was to sustain a momentum on reforms.

    Ministry sources said the troika underlined uncertainties in spending of the wider central government, combating tax evasion and speeding up privatizations. The ministry officials reiterated that there was no issue of abolishing payment of the 13th and 14th wages in the private sector and dismissed talk of plans to further raise VAT rates.

    The officials said the government would seek a dialogue with political parties, economists and unions over focused actions, worth 12.77 billion euros, or 5.2 pct of the countryÔs Gross Domestic Product, in the period 2012-2015, needed to save on spending and support growth. The aim is to have a primary budget surplus of 5.0 pct of GDP in 2015, the sources said.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

    ´╗┐

    [03] Samaras meets Juncker

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras met on Tuesday with visiting Eurogroup chairman and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker with talks focusing on the world economic crisis and its repercussions in Greece.

    Samaras said after the meeting that he discussed with Juncker recent developments in Europe, adding that what is important is the solutions being proposed today. He said that he agreed with the Eurogroup chairman on the need for issuing a Eurobond, extending the repayment period of the Greek debt accompanied by a decrease in the interest rate as well as the need for growth.

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form


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