13 January, 2010
The European Council President Herman Van Rompuy expressed confidence in Greece's efforts to address its debt crisis, which he said is a matter of common interest for the entire bloc.
"I am confident that the Greek government is already taking the further necessary steps to address the situation," Van Rompuy said following a working luncheon with Prime minister George Papandreou yesterday (12.1) in Athens, his first visit to an EU member-state.
"Resolute fiscal consolidation should start without delay in 2010 and the deficit should be brought below 3% by the end of 2012. This commitment needs to be supported by concrete and credible measures," the European Council President noted.
On his part, the premier stressed that the situation of Greece's economy is the result of long-standing problems but the biggest one now is the loss of credibility, which he pledged to restore.
"We look forward to close cooperation both with the European Council president and the European Commission," Papandreou said.
The premier and Van Rompuy also discussed immigration and asylum issues as well as the "Agenda 2014" – Greece’s initiative for accession of Western Balkan countries to the EU by 2014.
Source: GREEK NEWS AGENDA issued by the Secretariat Genera