PM Samaras: 'The day after has already begun'

Last update: 18:44

 

BRUSSELS (AMNA - M. Aroni) Emerging from the European Union summit held here on Friday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras signalled that his government was already rolling up its sleeves and getting down to work, since there was not a minute to spare.

"One marathon has already ended successfully and the next begins right now," Samaras stressed, adding that this was not the time to be triumphant. "For me and the government, the day after has already begun," he said.

The prime minister said that immediately upon leaving the European Council, he is to have a meeting with European Commission Vice-president and Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, accompanied by Greek Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Kostis Hatzidakis.

Samaras also announced a meeting scheduled to take place at his offices on Monday morning with the heads of major multinational firms operating in Greece, in order to explore ways in which they might expand their activities and make new investments in the country.

"Creating new jobs is a major requirement," the prime minister emphasised, adding that the government's goal was to eliminate bureaucracy.

Talking to reporters, the prime minister conveyed his impression that the international community now considered that Greece had "turned over a new leaf". At the same time, he stressed that this was did not warrant triumphant rhetoric since "laurels smell nice but quickly wither".

Samaras noted that Greece now had to face the uphill struggle of recovery while stressing his conviction that the new start would be successful and that the road, while long, was now safe and secure.

Asked to comment on recent statements made by trade union leaders with the local authority staff union federation POE-OTA, the Greek premier emphasised that the pampered professional groups of the past were attempting to "terrorise" society because they were losing their privileges. "I am certain that they will lose them. We move on," the premier added.

In a statement late Thursday, the prime minister said that the Eurogroup's decision to approve 49.1 billion euro in financial aid for Greece marked the end of a "long and difficult period of anxiety in Greece, stopping rumours of the country's exit from the euro."

In a press conference held in Brussels, he said that Greece had gained a great opportunity to emerge from the crisis standing and stronger, rather than isolated and on its knees.

"The money disbursed will be a vindication and a starting point," he told reporters, especially for the three parties in the governing coalition that had put their faith in the country's recovery rather than its destruction, as well as its place in Europe.

Samaras thanked the leaders of the two other parties in the coalition, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis, as well as their MPs and those of his own New Democracy party, stressing that the three coalition partners had "fought and won their battles together".

"We have avoided the cliff," Samaras said, adding that Greeks had every reason to be optimistic.

The Greek premier stressed that no one had dared predict that Greece would finally receive financial aid from the EU and IMF amounting to approximately 52.5 billion euro, of which roughly 40 billion euro would remain in Greece while the remaining 11 billion euro would go toward a bond buyback to reduce debt by 20 billion euro.

He stressed that in the coming months, the Greek state would pay off all its outstanding debts to Greek citizens, noting that the Greek state currently owed sums in excess of nine billion euro.

Regarding the big tranche of 34.3 billion euro due to be disbursed in the next few days, Samaras said that this would be used to recapitalise the banks, restore liquidity to the Greek economy and to boost businesses and households. At the same time, he emphasised efforts to attract new investments and create new jobs.

"Unemployment will fall. This is always a key requirement," he promised.

Replying to the government's critics within Greece and those predicting that Greece would be ousted from the eurozone without a fight, Samaras said they were still unable to believe that Greece had managed to secure loans on the best possible terms for any country in a similar crisis and more cheaply than most European countries.

He also underlined his conviction that there were real prospects and hope for growth but also the need for unity.

"Only united can we succeed," he emphasised, saying that Greece had restored its credibility abroad but must now regain its self-confidence and sense of dignity at home.

 

Finance minister: 'Today is the reward of many months of effort'

 

Speaking after the prime minister, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said that the Eurogroup's decision was the reward of efforts lasting many months and a great respite for the country.

"In my book, the journey starts today but without the borders of uncertainty any longer," he said.

The finance minister explained that the Eurogroup had approved the disbursement of 49.1 billion euro to Greece from the EFSF, to which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would add another 3.4 billion euro, so that the total paid to Greece by March will be approximately 52.5 billion euro. The lion's share of this money would be a 34.3 billion euro tranche to be disbursed next week, of which 16 billion euro would go toward the recapitalisation and restructuring of Greek banks, seven billion euro would go toward the budget and covering outstanding state debts and 11.3 billion euro would cover the cost of a Greek bond buyback.

Regarding the need for reforms in Greece, Stournaras pointed out that Greece had so far covered an "essential requirement" for remaining in the euro but must now also meet the "requirement of adequacy" by implementing the measures passed by the Greek Parliament. Among others, he pointed out that the Eurogroup had especially emphasised the need to push through comprehensive tax reforms and to keep up the pace of structural reforms, as well as making progress on privatisations, improving absorption of National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds and restoring liquidity to the banking system.

"Greece has gained time, has won an opportunity to carry out reforms at a comfortable pace and not with a knife at its throat," the finance minister said.

 


Μore on subscriber's page
© ANA-MPA SA. Intellectual rights and copyright are the sole property of the ANA-MPA and are allocated to the Agency's subscribers for specific uses only.
NEWS
  • 10:32   Education Ministry to announce Greek university entrance exams results on Aug 24
  • 10:21   Sputnik: Greece teaches Estonia a history lesson
  • 09:44   Athens Newspapers Headlines
  • 21:55   Two foreign nationals detained in Chania after antiquities are found in their sailboat
  • 20:36   Mezzo soprano Alexandra Gravas to hold free show in Roman Agora on Sept. 6
  • 19:57   ADEX closing report
  • 19:12   Major wildfire near tourist resort in Dafnila on Corfu
  • 19:02   Tsipras discusses new draft bills, development bank in meetings with ministers
  • 18:53   Friends, fans and family attend funeral for actress Zoe Laskari
  • 18:36   Thessaloniki's shipping agents deplore decision to cut customs officers' night shift at port
  • 18:05   Greek stocks rise amid low turnover on Tuesday
  • 17:24   Wildfire underway in Sofiko, Corinth
  • 17:18   Frontex rescues 48 refugees near islet of Ro
  • 17:09   Coast guard arrests six on charges of illegally diving for antiquities
  • 16:13   Fire fighter injured in Zacharo fire taken to Patras hospital for further tests (UPDATES)
  • 16:02   Pavlopoulos praises Greek handball team for 'Macedonia' protest at EHF Youth championships
  • 15:27   Fire fighter injured in Zacharo fire rushed to Pyrgos hospital
  • 14:30   Weather Forecast: Mostly fair on Wednesday
  • 14:14   Tsipras' meeting with Education Min Gavroglou concluded
  • 14:01   Students of the University of Geosciences in Beijing visit Lesvos island
  • 13:36   President Pavlopoulos stresses the importance of chambers
  • 13:06   Opposition worried by Macron's support to Tsipras, Papadimoulis says
  • 11:59   Education Ministry to announce Greek university entrance exams results early next week
  • 11:43   Athens Stock Exchange opening: Modest rise
  • 11:32   PM Tsipras to meet Education Min Gavroglou
  • 10:47   Ryto fire abates thanks to rainstorm
  • 10:32   Justice Min Kontonis: We have never believed that communism is a criminal ideology like Nazism
  • 09:31   Athens Newspapers Headlines
  • 22:16   New Democracy slams Tsipras for '13 fake promises' made in 2016 TIF
  • 20:27   No active fronts in the fire near Rodina, in Ilia
  • 20:04   Children evacuated from camp in Sofiko as wildfire rages in Ryto, Corinth (UPDATE)
  • 19:53   Attempts to equate Nazism with Communism 'dangerous', says MEP Papadimoulis
  • 19:45   Second fire breaks out in Corfu
  • 19:23   Wildfire breaks out in Ryto, Corinth
  • 18:52   ADEX closing report
  • 18:47   Large fire raging in southwestern Corfu
  • 18:44   Marginal gains for Greek bourse following Fitch upgrade
  • 18:10   Greece-based shipping company confirms collision with US Navy ship
  • 16:14   Greek Communist party urges resistance to 'crass anti-Communism'
  • 15:32   Meeting on Greece-Israel-Cyprus cooperation on diaspora issues held in Nicosia
  • 14:56   Weather Forecast: Clouds, rain on Tuesday
  • 13:22   Deputy FM Quick in Cyprus
  • 12:51   Greek bonds yield fall after Fitch upgrade
  • 12:09   633 refugees and migrants arrived at northern Aegean islands in 3 days
  • 11:47   Athens Stock Exchange opening: Rise
  • 11:10   Greek exports to the United Kingdom up in H1 2017
  • 09:14   Athens Newspapers Headlines
  • 22:04   Weather Forecast: Rainy on Monday
  • 21:32   No indications of terrorist threat in Greece, says minister
  • 20:57   Greece's decision to abstain from EU event on communist regime crimes 'offends Greeks, says ND
  • 20:20   Danger passes for village in Ilia as fire changes direction
  • 20:11   No state can intervene in fire in less than 20 minutes, says Toskas
  • 18:53   Volos illuminates city hall with Spanish flag to honour Barcelona terror victims
  • 18:01   Village in Ilia evacuated as fire approaches
  • 17:46   Athens Newspaper Headlines
  • 17:08   Wildfire burning near village in Ilia; no risk for houses so far
  • 15:57   Greece still hasn't reached the rating level it had in 2014, says ND official
  • 23:03   Athens' 17th century Fethiye Mosque opens to the public
  • 21:15   Infrastructure minister says will soon reveal information on OASTh mismanagement
  • 20:05   Firty-six fires started in Greece in past 24 hours; most of them extinguished
  • 19:42   Worker crushed by lifting equipment in PPC mine
  • 18:28   Dimitris Papadimitriou named 2017 Laser Radial Youth world champion
  • 16:33   Belgian woman arrested on terror ties to appear before prosecutor
  • 16:11   Athens Newspapers Headlines
  • 15:50   Fitch upgrade shows 3rd review will be completed without instability-finance ministry
  • 23:46   Funeral of actress Zoe Laskari to be held on Aug. 22
  • 23:36   Fitch upgrades Greece to 'B-' from 'CCC' with positive outook
  • 22:44   ND: SYRIZA’s investment-friendly facade turning into ‘theater of the absurd’
  • 21:48   Fire brigade in Corfu catches arsonist red-handed
  • 21:07   Road traffic restored in Kalamos after wildfire
  • 20:55   Weather Forecast: Sunny on Saturday
  • 20:42   Greek stocks end lower
  • 20:29   ADEX closing report
  • 20:00   Revenue authority requests tougher penalties for threats against tax officials
  • 19:05   Justice minister turns down invite for EU conference on crimes of Communist regimes
  • 17:09   Iconic Greek actress Zoe Laskari dies at 73
  • 16:09   Pavlopoulos welcomes students who excelled in Mathematical, Chemistry Olympiads
  • 23:37   Large fire burning near village in southern Cephalonia
  • 23:28   President sends condolences to King of Spain over Barcelona terror attack
  • 23:00   PASOK leader on Barcelona attack: ‘We stand by the Spanish people’
  • 22:51   Theodorakis on Barcelona attack: 'They sow hate but they will not reap fear'
  • 22:32   Avramopoulos calls for united front against 'barbarism' after Barcelona terrorist attack
  • 22:05   Greek woman among those injured in Barcelona terrorist attack-ForMin
  • 21:31   Tsipras expresses Greece's solidarity with Spanish people after Barcelona terrorist attack
  • 21:17   ND leader says Barcelona terror attack is 'attack on our freedoms and values'
  • 20:52   Greek foreign ministry 'appalled' by terrorist attack in Barcelona
  • 20:17   Greek stocks end lower
  • 19:33   ADEX closing report
  • 18:34   Sailing yachts gather in Patmos for countdown to 2017 Aegean Regatta this Sunday
  • 17:40   Thessaloniki' bus company allows free travel for the unemployed
  • 16:29   Greek inflation steady at 0.9 pct in July-Eurostat
  • 16:05   Anti-flooding studies for burned land to be completed by Sept. 15-ministry
  • 23:35   Top court issues temporary freezing order for Enel wind farm project in Evia
  • 22:55   Canadair pilots, technicians tell ANA people call them heroes - but they’re just doing their jobs
  • 20:53   Government cabinet announces relief measures for those affected by wildfires
  • 19:58   Minister says government will not allow illegal construction on burned forestland
  • 19:32   Greek stocks end higher
  • 18:59   ADEX closing report
  • 18:34   Businessman Marinakis officially acquires 22.11 pct stake in private TV station Mega
  • 16:50   Government showed 'inadequacy' in tackling fires, says PASOK

eana