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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-06-12

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] A solution must be found, EU Commission president Juncker says
  • [02] We are not far away from the end of the course, Alt. Administrative Restructuring Minister Katrougalos says
  • [03] Greece is negotiating for a comprehensive agreement

  • [01] A solution must be found, EU Commission president Juncker says

    A solution must be found (on the Greek issue), the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday.

    He noted that he spoke with IMF head Christine Lagarde with whom he is in constant communication as well as with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with whom he met yesterday.

    European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas on Friday said that he is not aware of a meeting between Greece's technical staff and the institutions in Athens.

    However, he added that the 19 representatives of the eurozone's finance ministries and the institutions have gone to Bratislava for the Euro Working Group.

    Regarding the withdrawal of the IMF from Brussels, Schinas cited European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's statement that it is not interpreted as a withdrawal from the Greek programme.

    On the remaining differences between the two sides, he said that Juncker explained to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the procedure for finding a solution which can be made acceptable by the 19 member states adding that it includes the three institutions.

    Finally, he reiterated Juncker's statement to a French radio station that an agreement is necessary and that the ball is now in Greece's court.

    [02] We are not far away from the end of the course, Alt. Administrative Restructuring Minister Katrougalos says

    ANA/MPA---"We are on the final stretch of a great marathon which means that we are not far away from the end, but it is the most painful part of the course," Alternate Interior and Administrative Restructuring Minister George Katrougalos on Friday said on the course of the negotiation with Greece's lenders.

    "At the political negotiation both sides' political volition for agreement was confirmed, but we do not want whatever agreement, we want an agreement that will secure that the Greek economy will recover. That it will include growth and not only recession characteristics, we want an agreement that will reduce that debt and an agreement that will not send all the burden to the weaker and to the middle class," he said adding that "I have the certainty that we will succeed such an agreement not only because we are negotiating based on our campaign programme and our "red lines" but mostly because we have the support of the Greek people's majority."

    Asked if the IMF's withdrawal makes that negotiations more difficult, Katrougalos replied: "The IMF always had independent opinions, for example it agrees with us that the debt is not sustainable and it needs restructuring, however it follows a neoliberal agenda attested in several statements. We respect the positions of all our partners in the negotiations even the positions with which we are in deep ideological opposition. We want, however, to hope that despite IMF's withdrawal in the end we will have an overall agreement".

    [03] Greece is negotiating for a comprehensive agreement

    The Greek government is negotiating for a comprehensive agreement that will include comprehensive prior actions, government sources said on Friday and estimated that the IMF's withdrawal from the political negotiation is pressure towards the European Commission, the ECB and Greece.

    "The non-participation of the IMF in the political negotiation means nothing more than pressure to Commission, ECB and Greece," government sources said.

    The Greek government's proposal focuses on:

    - low primary surpluses for 2015 and 2016 in order to break the austerity reproduction mechanism

    - no salary and pension cuts; that is measures that will enhance injustice and bring economy back to recession

    - public debt restructuring

    - strong investment programme (development package)

    Regarding Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' contacts in Brussels, government sources said that "the government, after the contacts with Merkel, Hollande, Juncker and other European officials, is ready, as agreed, to intensify negotiations in order for a solution to be found soon. That is why it will continue working on open issues, such as fiscal and debt sustainability issues.

    On the role of Brussels Group and the IMF's stance, the same sources underlined that "the Greek side has repeatedly said that negotiations at technical levels and the Brussels Group have been concluded and that that the "negotiation continues at a political level."


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