Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, addressing Wed-nesday the meeting of the European Parliament's Socialists and Democrats group, stressed that the recent decisions at European Union level regarding both the fiscal framework and the competitiveness accord are in the positive direction, but they are not adequate enough however to activate the necessary growth rates, while referring to the crisis at international and European level, he pointed out that "we have not learned from its causes".

Focusing on Greece, the Finance minister said that steps were taken and reforms were done over the past months that should have taken place regardless of the Memorandum, such as the opening of closed professions, the reforming of the social security system, etc.

"Our target is the return to markets," Papaconstantinou said, referring to 2012.

"We are proceeding with the implementation of the adjustment programme in the best possible way and we have succeeded in keeping society on our side despite the reactions, because we have convinced that the reforms are to the benefit of our country and society. The path we chose is difficult, but responsible," the minister said, stressing that the country last year before joining the Support Mechanism had come close to bankruptcy.

Referring to the ratings firms and Tuesday's decision, he said that they do not take into consideration among others the strict judgement and assessment that Greece receives from the EU, the IMF and the ECB that takes place at regular intervals.