Politics: Greek PM, Juncker discuss additional support to Greece

"I expect the Eurogroup to agree to additional finance being provided to Greece under strict condition-ality," Eurogroup President Jean Claude Juncker told reporters after a two-hour meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou here on Friday.

He added that he also expected a "voluntary participation of the private sector."

Juncker categorically stated that “there was no issue of Greece exiting the euro or even an issue of default” and stressed he expected from Greece to adhere to its commitments, over which he had no doubts.

Commenting on the completion of a troika visit in Athens, the Eurogroup president said: “It was good news for Greece, the Eurozone and the European Union,” adding “we must be satisfied with the final outcome”.

He said the meeting focused on fiscal targets, structural reforms and a privatization programe. Commenting on the latter, Juncker said there was “full agreement” on the fund that will manage the course of its implementation. The Eurogroup president insisted on the need for privatizations to proceed rapidly with transparency and in a credible way.

Speaking to reporters, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed he had a fruitful discussion with Jean Claude Juncker “a friend of Greece” adding that an agreement reached with the troika was a positive sign.

The Greek premier referred to Greece’s impressive results last year, with a reduction of the fiscal deficit by five percentage points through sacrifices made by the Greek people. He noted, however, that many still have to be done and referred to markets’ reservations which made additional financial support to Greece necessary.

Papandreou reassured that Greece will continue the hard work and fully meet its obligations with the aim to boost growth and raise employment in the country.
He said the meeting also focused on reforms in the public sector and particularly the possibility of Europe offering technical assistance and know-how on issues such as combating bureaucracy.
"Our aim is Greece to become a very different country," the Greek prime minister said.

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