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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-12-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Barroso: Next loan tranche certain

  • [01] Barroso: Next loan tranche certain

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, speaking to reporters shortly after meeting Prime Minister George Papandreou in Brussels on Monday, praised Athens for its efforts to combat a severe debt and deficit plaguing the country.

    "Let me pay tribute to what Prime Minister Papandreou has achieved since taking office...he is delivering, not just committing," Barroso said.

    On his part, Papandreou stressed that Greece is experiencing a difficult phase, adding that "historic changes" are being promoted that will have positive repercussions on the Greek economy. He also said that the target is exiting from the memorandum in 2013, stressing that Greece is on a good path.

    The Commission president underlined the constructive way with which the government is handling the Greek economy's problems and the new impetus that it has provided for the country, stressing that Greece is in a phase of reconstruction.

    He further said the fiscal deficit is de-escalating at a speedy rate, inflation is being stabilised and the country's competitiveness is gradually increasing.

    Barroso appeared certain that on Jan. 19 the Council of eurozone finance ministers will approve the next tranche of eurozone countries' loans to Greece, amounting to 6.5 billion euros and, as he said, earlier, at the end of December, approval will have preceded for the disbursement of 2.5 billion euros from the IMF.

    The Commission president also noted that more efforts will be necessary for the Greek economy's restructuring in the coming years and expressed an appreciation for the courage shown by the Greek people, as he said, as well as the bold reforms that being promoted in the country. Referring to the Greek prime minister, he thanked him because "he steadfastly supports the EU's methods in the decision-making procedures."

    Papandreou said the changes being promoted in Greece benefit the Greek economy and the eurozone / EU. On the question of a European support mechanism, Papandreou expressed support for its creation through a limited reform of the Lisbon Treaty. He also said that, in relation to the creation of this mechanism, numerous proposals have been submitted, both by the member-states and the European Central Bank.

    On the question of issuing of eurobonds, he said Greece has repeatedly expressed its support for this idea. Barroso also noted, regarding the issuing of eurobonds for the financing of major infrastructure projects in the EU, that he has expressed his support in the past.

    Regarding the all-important issue of the extension of loans that Greece has received from the EU and the IMF, Barroso cited the political decision taken a week ago by the EU's finance ministers, appearing certain that the technical details remaining will be resolved so that an extension for Greece will be approved soon.

    Papandreou told reporters that issues he discussed with Barroso included the acceleration of the utilisation of EU funds in this difficult economic period.

    Lastly, the prime minister said he also discussed with the Commission president the issue of Cyprus, the question of Turkey's relations with the EU and Greece, and the European prospects of the western Balkan states, as well as Frontex's presence in Greece.

    Papandreou further said the existing system of granting political asylum in Greece will be reformed soon and stressed that many migrants are victims of migrant traffickers.

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