The economic stabilisation programmes of Greece and Ireland were the issues preoccupying the first part of the euro countries’ Finance ministers’ conference, well-informed EU sources said in Brussels on Monday.

According to the same sources, both Commissioner Olli Rehn and European Central Bank governor Jean-Claude Trichet referred analytically to Greece and Ireland. As regards Greece in particular, they recognised that in 2010 all that is anticipated by the memorandum was implemented in a very satisfactory way and mentioned that legislative changes must be continued and implemented in 2011.

On the part of Greece, Finance Minister George Papacon-stantinou said, according to well-informed sources, that Greece will do all that is necessary for the absolute implementation of the memorandum and this, despite the internal reactions. He regretted that the opposition in Greece "is not playing a constructive role," pointing out at the same time that the Greek government has done all that is required and will continue along this logic.

According to the same sources, Papaconstantinou said that the statements by the Troika’s representatives, in Athens on Friday, were “unfortunate” and expressed the hope that similar events will not be repeated. He clarified, however, that Greece will proceed with bold steps with the required privatisations and structural changes, stressing in parallel that if the decisions that will be taken at a eurozone level prove to be inadequate then the Greek efforts will also fall through.

On the question of the competitiveness accord that is being promoted, mainly by the German side, Papaconstantinou said, according to the same sources, that Greece has no special problems concerning its implementation and that many of the measures that are being discussed have already been implemented by the Greek side.