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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-05-11

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 spokesman: Definitely no to new memorandum
  • [02] Foreign Minister Kotzias embarks on visit to Turkey, meets Turkish PM Davutoglu
  • [03] Deadline for agreement with Greece is the end of June, Dijsselbloem says
  • [04] EU Commissioner Moscovici sees 'clear progress' in talks with Greece

  • [01] Gov't spokesman: Definitely no to new memorandum

    ANA/MPA---Government spokesman Gavriil Sakellaridis, in his briefing to the press on Monday, reiterated the government's position and its effort for a mutually beneficial agreement within the 'red lines' that will respect the people's mandate.

    He noted that the aim in Monday's Eurogroup is the substantial progress that has been made in the negotiations to be recorded and clarified that the government does not examine a plan B. He also added that nothing ends today and that there is still road to be covered towards a final agreement.

    At a question if the installment to the IMF will be paid on Tuesday, he replied that the government has the responsibility to cover its obligation inside and outside the country.

    On the possibility of a referendum, Sakellaridis said that "the government has the support of the society's majority as well as a fresh mandate" adding that in no case is afraid of the popular volition. He also said that "if the question is a new memorandum, the government's answer is definitely no".

    [02] Foreign Minister Kotzias embarks on visit to Turkey, meets Turkish PM Davutoglu

    ANA-MPA -- The one-hour meeting of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul concluded on Monday evening. The Greek delegation will travel to Ankara, where Kotzias will meet Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    In an interview with Turkey's state television channel TRT ahead of his visit to Turkey, Kotzias said that the launch of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) leading up to the start of exploratory talks on long-standing issues - such as the Aegean continental shelf, developing economic cooperation between Greece and Turkey and fundamental strategic issues concerning both countries - will be at the crux of his talks with Turkish officials. Kotzias stressed that there was genuine willingness on the Greek side to resolve the problems and "cement the friendship that exists between the two peoples". He said the agenda of the talks will cover fundamental strategic issues, including economic issues, and seek to establish cooperation in areas such as culture and education as a means of "ensuring stability and security in the region, especially in the southeastern Mediterranean."

    Among others, he noted that these could include a resumption of negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    [03] Deadline for agreement with Greece is the end of June, Dijsselbloem says

    ANA-MPA -- The deadline for reaching an agreement with Greece is the end of June, when the current extension of the programme expires, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday as he arrived for a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers. It was up to Greece's politicians to decide whether to hold a referendum and the prospect did not worry him, he added. Dijsselbloem said that he will wait to hear what the representatives of the institutions have to report concerning the progress made in the talks and "what we can expect in the coming weeks". He clarified that there was no final result that the finance ministers could discuss on Monday and that the Eurogroup's aim was to assess the progress made thus far. The Eurogroup president noted, however, that the negotiations were moving in a more positive direction than the last session and underlined the need for political will "so that Greece once again returns to the path of economic and fiscal stability". Asked whether the outcome of Monday's Eurogroup could help resolve Greece's liquidity issues, Dijsselbloem replied that the European Central Bank was absolutely independent and the Eurogroup was not in a position to indicate to the ECB what it must do. The Eurogroup president added that Greece was currently making use of the flexibility offered with respect to the programme, making new reform proposals that must, however, be economically sustainable. While the "political deadline" for an agreement was at the end of June, Dijsselbloem stressed that there was already a significant delay in terms of implementing the programme and the disbursements.

    [04] EU Commissioner Moscovici sees 'clear progress' in talks with Greece

    ANA-MPA -- Arriving for the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on Monday, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici referred to "clear progress" in the negotiations with Greece. The commissioner said that the negotiating process had improved significantly since the last Eurogroup in Riga, Latvia so that progress had also been made concerning the substance of the talks, though in several important areas the negotiations needed to move faster and there was a lot of ground still to cover. Moscovici predicted that Monday's Eurogroup would be significant, even though there it will not result in any specific decision, since there would be an evaluation of progress made. In the meantime, the Greek side was expected to confirm its desire to proceed with the necessary reforms in order to achieve an agreement, he said, adding that Monday's meeting could send a positive signal. He also noted that the will for an agreement to be found on the part of the European Commission.
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