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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-01-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'We won't cooperate with the troika,' FinMin says after meeting Dijsselbloem
  • [02] Greece 'must respect the rules,' German FinMin stresses
  • [03] New minister meets PPC CEO Zervos, lifts back-to-work order

  • [01] 'We won't cooperate with the troika,' FinMin says after meeting Dijsselbloem

    ANA-MPA -- Greece rejects both an extension of the bailout programme and any talks with the troika of its creditors, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Friday. The Greek government "does not plan to cooperate" with the troika, which he described as a tri-party commission integrated into a programme which the government has rejected and which the European Parliament said was unsoundly structured, Varoufakis said.

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the FinMin stressed that the government's priority was to promote deep reforms that will strengthen competitiveness

    Speaking to reporters, the Greek FinMin said there was a huge difference between institutional agencies in Europe such as the European Central Bank and the Commission, and international organisations such as the IMF, with which the country began consultations and are considered partners, "with a commission with an anti-European logic, integrated in the implementation of a programme that we have rejected and which, according to the European Parliament, is an 'unsoundly structured commission'."

    Varoufakis noted that the government could adhere to state commitments but stressed "what we will not accept is the "continuity" of a self-reinforcing crisis of deflation and non-sustainable debt". He added that he offered strong commitments on behalf of the government over the Greek side's determination to promote "deep and necessary reforms, without fear and passion, that will boost competitiveness" and offered guarantees, first to the Greek people and to its partners, of balanced budgets and "sustainable small primary surpluses."

    "This platform enabled us to win the confidence of the Greek people," Varoufakis told reporters. "Our first action as a government will not be to reject the rationale of questioning this programme through a request to extend it."

    Dijsselbloem told reporters that he had constructive talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the government's economic team. He said the meeting with Varoufakis was significant, adding, "I wanted to hear the government's intentions and to explain its obligations. We have mutual interests."

    He noted as positive the fact that the government's ambition was for Greece to remain in the eurozone. The head of the eurozone finance ministers' group said that in 2012 the Eurogroup had pledged to offer adequate support to Greece until the country returned to markets, on the condition that all commitments were met. The country's economic problems cannot disappear overnight, he said, underlining that the Greek people suffered heavily from the economic measures and it must be ensured that these sacrifices are not going to be wasted.

    "It is up to the government to determine its position towards us and to move jointly forward," Dijsselbloem noted, adding that unilateral steps were not leading to progress and stressing the need to continue talks. Commenting on whether a European summit on debt was necessary, he said, "There already is a summit and it is called the Eurogroup."

    [02] Greece 'must respect the rules,' German FinMin stresses

    ANA-MPA -- The rules must be respected and trust and credibility are the basis for further solidarity, which we all need in Europe, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday said and stressed that "nobody can disagree with us on that and moreover it will be difficult to blackmail us."

    All decisions taken, have been taken in such a way that they can in any case be met and implemented, Schaeuble added, speaking at a conference of the German Insurance Companies.

    He also clarified that the German government is in this context ready for cooperation and solidarity with everyone, but only in this context and in no other.

    Schaeuble called on the new Greek government to honor its agreements with international lenders: "We are ready for any discussion," he said, but the key issues cannot be changed. The economic aid has been extremely generous so far. The new Greek government is aware of the fact that it must act quickly," he said.

    As regards the Stability and Growth Pact, Schaeuble underlined that "agreements are meaningful only if they are respected. Otherwise, trust is destroyed. And without trust, the popular support in solidarity is put at risk."

    [03] New minister meets PPC CEO Zervos, lifts back-to-work order

    ANA-MPA -- Productive Reconstruction, Environment & Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis on Friday met with Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC S.A.) President & CEO Arthouros Zervos ahead of the presentation of the government's policy agenda.

    Ministry sources said that the meeting focused on the company's state and future prospects, while there was no discussion on management replacement.

    The issues discussed included the cancellation of the privatisation of the PPC Group already announced by Lafazanis during the ministry handover ceremony.

    The privatization plan included the PPC subsidiary Independent Power Transmission Operator S.A. (ADMIE), the creation and sale of the so-called "small PPC" and the sale of a package of company shares to a strategic investor, actions that were initiated with relevant legislation that will have to be amended.

    Following a recommendation by Productive Reconstruction, Environment & Energy Minister Lafazanis, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday signed a decision lifting the back-to-work order that was in effect for PPC S.A., ADMIE S.A. and Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator S.A. (DEDDIE) personnel.

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