Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis is carrying out a series of contacts in Berlin with the aim of improving Greece's image in Europe. "We must change Greece's image in Europe, to pass the message of a positive Greece. To break the vicious circle of negativism," Lambrinidis said in a statement. He stressed that "many things have been achieved in the past year with great sacrifices by the Greek people" and warned that "the impression that Greece is not trying, that it is not changing, can poison the climate and we have the obligation to change it."
Speaking to the German Foreign Policy Society "DGAP", Lambrinidis underlined the efforts made by Greece "to return to the principle of responsibility." At the same time he criticised credit rating firms and their roles. He referred to the example of the latest downgrading of Portugal by Moody's that did not need, as he said, fresh aid and spoke of the "madness of a self-fulfilled prophecy."
The Greek Foreign minister also stressed the need "for the rhetoric of punishment to stop" that poisons the climate both in Greece and in the countries providing aid, while strengthening Euroscepticism.
In the German capital, Lambrinidis will be having his first meeting with his German counterpart Westerwelle, while he met with the president of the Parliamentary Group of the Socialdemocrat party (SPD) Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as the president of the Greens party Cem Ozdemir.