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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-06-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Juncker to AMNA: Italian-Spanish solution not applicable to Greece

  • [01] Juncker to AMNA: Italian-Spanish solution not applicable to Greece

    The Italian-Spanish solution for direct recapitalisation of banks cannot be applied to Greece at present, since the country has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding for its bailout loans, Eurogroup chairman and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker clarified in an exclusive interview with the AMNA webTV internet service on Friday. He noted, however, that Europe had to take into account the impact of the austerity measures, especially on low income groups, and had no right to trigger a humanitarian crisis.

    The interview was given to AMNA's correspondent Giorgos Kouvaras in Brussels. The full interview is as follows: amna

    Q: Could the summit's decision for Spain and Italy concerning the recapitalisation of banks also apply to Greece?

    Juncker: The speficity of aspects of the programme that we decided on for Spain and Italy is different from that of Greece, which is a country that has entered a [bailout] programme, whereas Spain and Greece fulfill the conditions set for their fiscal reform and therefore, a priori, an Italian-Spanish solution cannot be applied to Greece.

    Q: Nevertheless, doesn't the phrase about 'similar cases' leave margins for its application to Greece as well?

    Juncker: If Greece should find itself in a similar position to that of Italy and Spain then, of course, the solution could also be applied to Greece.

    Q: Greek citizens wonder, however - as you have also noted - if this austerity programme will ever come to an end.

    Juncker: I believe that a strict budget must continue to be applied in Greece because Greece must definitely reform its public finances, it must improve its falling competitiveness and [correct the] weaknesses of Greece. That said, I do not overlook that living conditions, especially for those on low incomes, are making it ever more difficult to live, and all Europeans must take into account this situation. We do not have the right to provoke a humanitarian crisis in Greece.

    Q: [Greece] has a new government. Is the Memorandum renegotiable?

    Juncker: There must certainly be talks between the Greek and European authorities. I cannot prejudge the outcome that will arise from these talks. But I am in constant contact with the Greek prime minister and these matters will be raised.amna

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