President Sarkozy pledges support to Greece after talks with PM Papandreou

Prime Minister George Papandreou pledged that Greece will fulfill its commitments while speaking to reporters after holding hour-long talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy here on Friday. The French president on his part promised European Union support to Greece. The Greek premier stressed that he and the French president "had a very good discussion on the developments in the eurozone."

Papandreou added that "I stressed and I am stressing that Greece will fulfill its commitments and will proceed with all the necessary reforms, as it is also doing with whatever price and cost because precisely we ourselves want to change our country, to change Greece, to be a competitive and socially fair and developmental country. To become a country which gets out from the crisis and is securing confidence and security for its citizens. We are, therefore, determined absolutely. We are also determined absolutely for there to be transparency in everything."

Papandreou further said that he requested from Sarkozy to send French experts to observe and have a full picture of what Greece is doing. He also added that is also invited any other European country, which will express the wish to send its own experts to acquire a full picture of what is happening in Greece. "There shall be absolute transparency in this way of what Greece is doing," the prime minister said.

Lastly, Papandreou thanked Sarkozy and the French people for the longstanding support they have shown for Greece as well as today at this crucial moment. "It is a support that the Greek people recognise and it is very useful today when we are passing through a crucial period. This support is valuable for Greece to change and become a better Greece," Papandreou added.

"We have a moral obligation, being countries of the eurozone and members of the European Union to support Greece. Europe is a culture it is a family and it is a solidarity. When a member of the family has difficulties the other members must activate themselves to help it. The failure of Greece will be a failure of all of Europe. There is no other alternative and effective solution. We have a moral obligation of solidarity and we have an economic obligation of solidarity," President Sarkozy said on his part.

Sending a message to the Greek people, the French president added that "I know that the Greek people have been inconvenienced a great deal in these past months and weeks. However, the reforms had been postponed for many years and bad habits were born. The Greek prime minister gave me all the assurances on the determination of the Greek government to implement with care and precision all the commitments to which Greece has committed itself. Indeed he also indicated to me the concern and interest being shown by the Greek authorities for transparency, and for this reason they called on the European partners from other countries of Europe as well to ascertain the developments step by step."

"It is not possible for us to abandon Greece for moral and economic reasons," he added.

President Sarkozy also added that he intends to go to Germany in the coming days to continue together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel "the cooperation and coordination between France and Germany which allowed (them) to secure the protection of Europe."

There is between France and Germany today, as he said, "an absolute identity of views for us to resist profiteering, failure and to protect Europe."

"With Mrs. Merkel we are talking about the paths and the means that will help us speed up economic convgergence in Europe and to implement as soon as possible the measures decided on July 21," President Sarkozy concluded.

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