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Venizelos: there will be an agreement with the Troika before the next Eurogroup

23 February 2014 / 14:02:41  GRReporter
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The meeting of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos ended late in the afternoon on Saturday. The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras.

The meeting was organized on the occasion of the return of leaders of the Troika in Athens on Monday, in order to complete the on-going assessment and outline the transfer of subsequent tranches which Greece is expecting.

In a statement after the meeting, Venizelos stressed that the current six months will be very intense, since Greece’s sacrifices will finally yield results and the light at the end of the tunnel of the crisis and the Memorandum will be seen, in defiance of those who "invest politically in the existence of the crisis and the Memorandum."

According to the Athens News Agency, Venizelos has expressed confidence that an agreement with the Troika will be reached before the next Eurogroup, stressing that his strong optimism is due to the impressive results of the citizens’ sacrifices. He said that the financial adjustment was unique and the primary surplus was very important, and now only "structural measures for the enhancement of competitiveness and the update of the state, so that the market could be opened," must be applied. “These are measures which the citizens want.”

Yiannis Stournaras is also optimistic about reaching an agreement with the Troika, as he himself said upon leaving the meeting.

The Deputy Prime Minister also said that "We have an opportunity to protect the social unity and correct injustices through the primary surplus and the start of the reverse process: By now, everyone had to contribute, the state is now able to take reciprocal steps in order to help the affected groups."

When asked how helpful comments such as the one by Commissioner Olli Rehn are, who said that the delay in talks between Greece and the Troika is the fault of the Greek side, Venizelos said that he would not comment on any of the international or European factors, adding that there has been an unfair international discussion for years, based on stereotypes about the country, and that "the recovery of this discussion is not fair for Greece."

According to him, now talks should be based on the numbers and data and he stressed that stereotypes are currently being refuted. "We are now calling upon our partners to examine these numbers, not according to a definite institutional model, but according to a technocratic one and they should realize that Greece has changed the situation and Europe cannot go to the European elections, if it does not succeed in the case called Greece."

Finance Minister Stournaras answered similarly to the same question, saying that both sides are responsible for the delay.

When asked about the changes in the European elections, Venizelos said that parliament will vote on the relevant provisions which will be the simplest possible, adding that the issue of the preference was very important, since citizens would have the opportunity to choose a specific person, unlike now, when they choose  MEPs pre-selected by party leaders.

Tags: Evangelos Venizelos Antonis Samaras Yiannis Stournaras Troika agreement European elections
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