Speaking to reporters here, the minister said Monday’s Eurogroup decision placed the Greek debt issue within a wider framework of a debt crisis in the Eurozone, as well as uncertainty in international markets. He welcomed the decision, saying it was sending a message that the Eurogroup was ready to take all necessary measures to ensure its financial stability, a development which included Greece as a member of the Eurozone.
The Greek finance minister stressed “we must do our job, implementing a programme in a climate of national unity, social cohesion, because implementing the programme is a precondition for strengthening our negotiating position and facilitating every Greek citizen”.
Venizelos noted that Athens must restore its fiscal independence and dignity, while he noted that it was very significant that Eurogroup ordered an examination of all possible partnership solutions with the private sector. “This includes a more flexible and operating participation of the European Support Mechanism,” he said, adding that this includes lower interest rates and an extension of the loan repayment period, “with the aim to ensure the country’s debt sustainability and a reduction of the cost of servicing its public debt”.
These issues are of vital importance for Greece, Venizelos said, adding that an invitation to opposition political parties to negotiate a new programme together was still valid.
Finally, Venizelos said the climate in the Eurogroup has changed because the Greek government timely approved the closely watched mid-term fiscal strategy programme.