Politics: Papandreou-Van Rompuy talks in Brussels

Prime Minister George Papandreou held talks here with European Council president Herman Van Rompuy, focusing on Greece's mid-term fiscal strategic programme and the course of a new support package for Greece.
Speaking after a meeting with Papandreou, Van Rompuy noted that "I expressed my strong support to the prime minister and his unyielding effort for the reform of the Greek economy ... I stressed the need for Greece to make further adjustment efforts to handle the current challenges, while recognising the progress achieved so far."
According to Van Rompuy, "the package of measures agreed by the government and the troika on fiscal restructuring, privatisations and the structural reforms must be supported by the Greek Parliament. This will pave the way for the disbursement of the next tranche in mid-July."

"We are working for a mid-term strategy, including the participation of the private sector, in the spirit of what was agreed to at the Eurogroup yesterday," he said, adding: "given the duration, the size and the nature of the required reforms in Greece, national consensus is a precondition for success."

On his part, Papandreou noted that he had "a creative and interesting discussion with Mr. Van Rompuy. We are in the process of an interesting negotiation with the member-states. We want to be consistent; we want to do what we must to achieve the goals. We made efforts in the previous year and we shall continue to make. I hope that Parliament will approve the programme. And I hope, however, that the Union will also have the will to handle the crisis, which is not a Greek crisis alone, with the appropriate decisions at the upcoming summit."
Papandreou also met with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso late on Monday night.

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