Venizelos: 'We must approve Medium-Term programme by the end of June'

Following his first attendance of a Eurogroup meeting the previous day, newly appointed Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday stressed that Greece has to approve the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy and a law that executes this before the end of June in order to regain credibility.
"The important thing is to establish a clear relationship of trust, to stabilise the situation and for the fifth tranche [of bailout loans to Greece] to be released," he said in statements to reporters.

Commenting on the situation in Greece, the new finance minister appointed during last week's government reshuffle noted that national consensus had proved elusive in Athens and had to be raised as a requirement by Greece's EU partners, unlike in Ireland and Portugal where there was a high degree of internal political consensus.
It should, instead, have been "the result of an instinct of self-preservation of our Nation," he pointed out.
Venizelos said the Eurogroup meeting had made signficant progress in preparations for the release of the fifth tranche before the crucial dates, with all sides agreeing that there had to be participation by the private sector to tackle the Greek debt problem.

"This concerns the completely voluntary participation of private investors in the form of rolling over existing bonds that mature, so as to effectively reduce borrowing needs in the next years. It is obvious that this process must be carried out so as not to trigger a credit event for Greece," he said.

The minister said that he had briefed Prime Minister George Papandreou on the results of the Eurogroup meeting, stressing that "we have a great many things to do every day".

"Political time has been greatly condensed, every day has huge importance and therefore we cannot waste even an hour," he underlined.

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