The European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'troika' inspectors issued a statement early Sunday, noting that their role is to advise and support the Greek government in its efforts and expressing regret "if a different impression was perceived", while also expressed "deepest respect" and continued support for the Greek people's "tremendous efforts".
The statement said that the troika noted that Greece's economic program remains on track and also indicated "our continuing strong support" for the government's efforts to meet the objectives of fiscal consolidation and restoring growth and competitiveness.
The collaboration in this effort "has always been, and continues to be, based on mutual trust", the statement said, adding that the three institutions (EC, ECB, IMF) "have full respect for the prerogatives and initiatives of the government in all areas of economic decision-making", noting that their role is to advise and support the government.
The full text of the troika statement appears below:
"At the conclusion of our joint mission yesterday, we noted that Greece’s economic program remains on track. We also indicated our continuing strong support for the Government in meeting its objectives of fiscal consolidation and restoring growth and competitiveness, as reflected in the Memorandum on the program. Our collaboration in this effort has always been, and continues to be, based on mutual trust. Our three institutions have full respect for the prerogatives and initiatives of the Government in all areas of economic decision-making, and our role is to advise and support the Government while considering options during the decision-making process. It is regrettable if a different impression was perceived at any time. We recognize the difficult challenges facing the Greek economy and we have the deepest respect for the tremendous efforts being made by the Greek people. We continue to support those efforts."
Statements by the troika chiefs during a press conference on Friday at the conclusion of the delegation's inspection sparked a sharp retort by the Greek government, which accused the troika of interfering in Greece's domestic affairs.
Criticism was also forthcoming throughout Friday from the opposition parties as well as several government officials, while the complaints over the troika's "unacceptable attitude" were conveyed by prime minister George Papandreou personally on Saturday in a telephone conversation with IMF managing director Dominique Strauss Kahn.