24 October, 2011
Today we began the final stage of a very difficult negotiation. A negotiation for a comprehensive response to the wider crisis - not just the Greek problem, but the European crisis. No problem will be solved if Europe itself does not take serious decisions, Prime Minister George Papandreou said in a statement last night, following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Our target, the premier said, is the reduction of the debt burden to allow the country some breathing space. At the same time, we carry on with big reforms that change Greece: structural changes that tackle problems and attitudes of decades; changes that, of course take time to bear fruits
European leaders gathered in Brussels yesterday for a meeting of the European Council
, which will reconvene for final decisions on October 26.
"Greece is proving again and again that we’re making the necessary decisions to make our economy sustainable and more just. We’re proud people, we demand respect to what we’re doing and we’re doing what we need, with great pain, to make Greece a different country. But the crisis is not a Greek crisis, it’s a European crisis so we as Europeans need to act decisively and effectively," the premier said upon arrival at the summit
. Before the summit, the PM had a meeting with EU Commission President
Jose Manuel Barroso.
Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras was also in Brussels over the weekend to attend a summit meeting of the European People's Party (EPP) group. In statements, Samaras said that latest
figures indicate that the country is in a deep recession, and consequently the necessary actions should be taken to jump-start the Greek economy, in tandem with the fiscal adjustment.
Source: GREEK NEWS AGENDA issued by the Secretariat Genera