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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-02-15

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't expresses reservations as to whether there can be an agreement in Monday's Eurogroup

  • [01] Gov't expresses reservations as to whether there can be an agreement in Monday's Eurogroup

    The Greek government expresses reservations as to whether there can be an agreement in the Eurogroup meeting on Monday, noting however that "no one can prejudge the outcome."

    According to an unofficial government briefing, the technical teams late on Saturday concluded their mission, which was to seek and record points of convergence and divergence. At the same time, the Greek government assured that, since this was the role of those committees and they were not supposed to negotiate, there is no discussion on looking for equivalent measures.

    The government's positions on the work of the technical teams and ahead of the Eurogroup meeting are the following:

    1. The works of the technical teams concluded late on Saturday, as planned.

    2. The role of the technical teams was to seek points of convergence/divergence – not to negotiate. Each side now has its own text and is aware of the areas of agreement and disagreement. The (intended) leaks on "equivalent measures" in the existing programme demonstrate that the role of the technical teams is not understood by all. The teams were "recorders" of positions; they did not seek equivalent measures. Therefore, any leaks on the issue have nothing to do with the role of the technical teams.

    3. The "bridge-agreement" is intended to give time as well as a breather to the Greek society until the final negotiation and agreement. Therefore, the "bridge-agreement" is not identified, in any case, with our four-year plan.

    4. The fight against tax evasion-tax avoidance and corruption, are "actions" that the new Greek government has the political will to undertake; as well as fair taxation. These fields have been and remain central points of the Greek policy and a key meeting point with the European leaders. Therefore, scepticism by certain sides -not necessarily by the technical teams - as to the results of these actions, has to do with the non-performance of the previous government. The new Greek government, however, has comparative advantages and as a Greek official in Brussels noted, fighting tax evasion / tax avoidance / corruption is an essential element of the government policy.

    5. The negotiation in the Eurogroup meeting on Monday will be difficult. The support of the people is once again the government's strength. The people's rallies in dozens of cities across Europe are a key factor, as they strengthen the new Greek government's bargaining position.

    6. In any case, it is not certain that there will definitely be a decision in the Eurogroup meeting on Monday – no one, of course, can prejudge the outcome. This is a struggle of endurance, with safety and respect to democracy. And of course the scaremongering, in which some invest, has once again proved at least unfounded.

    7. The Greek side from the first moment has been firmly demonstrating its willingness to find a mutually beneficial solution with respect to its partners, the Greek people and their verdict.

    8. Finally, people are not numbers. Therefore, leaks as to whether "numbers" add up or not are the know rhetoric used to justify hard austerity.

    9. The technical team of the Greek side presented the government's positions with figures, arguments and absolute competence. This was recognized by the technical team of the creditors as well.


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