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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-04-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece has made significant progress, Schaeuble says
  • [02] EU Foreign Ministers informal meeting in Athens

  • [01] Greece has made significant progress, Schaeuble says

    ANA/MPA--German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble acknowledged Greece's progress and said that if Greeks continue their efforts they can achieve their goals.

    "Greece has made significant progress and if Greeks continue on the same track, it is very probable that they will make it," Schaeuble said in an interview with German state TV ARD.

    "We should respect the Greek people for its hardship," Schaeuble pointed out and called Greeks "not to be carried away by irresponsible politicians."

    Greeks are suffering from the measures aimed to turn the country around, he said adding that today's problems are a result of failures in the past, which Greeks are now asked to pay for. He also said that Europe and Germany are not responsible for Greece's problems.

    He referred to increased tourist flows to Greece and the positive growth rates that Greece is expected to post.

    "Greece's problem is not over yet, but we are on the right track," he said. Asked on the possibility of a new support package being given to Greece, he said: "I am not aware of this. For the time being, the Greek government says it can manage by itself and can secure access to the markets."

    He recalled though that during the approval of the second support package, Finance ministers had promised Athens that, if Greece needed aid after the conclusion of the current programme, they were willing to help, provided that the country would meet its obligations and achieved a primary surplus.

    [02] EU Foreign Ministers informal meeting in Athens

    ANA/MPA---The biannual informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers "Gymnich" is held in Athens on April 4-5 in the context of the Greek EU Presidency, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice-President Catherine Ashton.

    Discussions will focus on the EU southern and eastern neighbourhoods against the backdrop of recent developments. A discussion on the EU's Strategic Partners will also take place to assess the impact of recent events on these very important relations.

    The foreign ministers of the candidate countries for accession into the EU have been invited to a joint working breakfast on the second day of the Gymnich to exchange views on developments in European Neighbourhood Policy.


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