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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-10-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Venizelos: Unfair to present Greece as EU economy's main problem

  • [01] Venizelos: Unfair to present Greece as EU economy's main problem

    ANA-MPA -- To present Greece as the "central problem" of the European and global economy was "false, dangerous and unfair," GovernmentVice-president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos stressed in a press conference at the foreign ministry on Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters, Venizelos pointed out that Greece's total debt was 350 billion euros when the three largest countries in Europe have debts amounting to around seven trillion euros. He also pointed to the country 5 percent of GDP structural surplus, which he said was the best improvement in the EU, and underlined that Greece now needed social consensus.

    "Greek people cannot take any further reduction in income," he underlined.

    Asked whether the government had some "final limit," beyond which it would back out of the bailout programme that had slashed the country's GDP by a quarter and had a wide-ranging social impact, Venizelos confirmed that the government did have a final limit but also pointed to the devastating outcome of the alternatives, saying these would have been an absolute collapse and resulted in a GDP slump closer to 75 percent instead of the current 25 percent.

    He also stressed that the government's front was "solid" and urged conditions of solidarity, optimism, security and national consensus in Greece.

    Referring to the issue of illegal migration flows, the minsiter said that "reasonable and just terms" must first been agreed before field operations got underway. He called for a sound regulatory framework for this issue that dealt equitably with all EU member-states, while highlighting the need to devote much greater sums that those currently given by the EU to this issue, noting that Frontex's current presence was "largely symbolic".

    The foreign minister also expressed Athens' complete lack of satisfaction with the way the migrant readmission agreements were implemented and urged the EU to insist on this issue, while referring to what he called certain countries' "inflexibility" regarding the Dublin II treaty.

    Reality and the EU's weakness were pressing for an answer to this issue, he added.

    Speaking on the Cyprus problem, Venizelos said that negotiations on the issue are in essence under way, irrespective of the joint statement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides requested must by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades before he agrees to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in the new round of talks.

    He reminded that the Cyprus government wishes the joint statement to refer to the need to observe UN decisions, as well as the European acquis, human rights, and of course to find a solution acceptable by the Cypriot people that could be put for approval in a referendum.

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