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EPP Group Presidency meeting in Athens: PM Samaras is putting Greece back on path to economic recovery


07 Mar 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Euro & Finance

The Greek efforts on combating the financial crisis was the main topic of the first session of the meeting of the EPP Group Presidency with the Heads of National Delegations in Athens. Opening the meeting, the Chairman of the EPP Group, Joseph Daul, welcomed the participants and especially Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. "Your government belongs to the team of EPP government leaders who are fighting the crisis with courage and determination, like Ireland, Latvia and Poland, just to mention a few", he said and praised the hard work of the Greek government and the Greek people in putting the country back on the track of economic development.

Joseph Daul underlined that Greece is making concrete progress: its economy is more and more competitive, exports are increasing, budgetary deficits are decreasing with short and medium-term debt which is more and more limited. "These are positive and encouraging signals but it is crucial that you continue your efforts and keep going on the path to reform", he concluded.

Marietta Giannakou, Head of the Greek Delegation of the EPP Group, focused on the impact of the crisis on Greek society and especially on Greek youth who are suffering high unemployment. "We have to give hope to the new generation. The experiences of the high living standards we have enjoyed over the last 50 years is not sufficient to satisfactorily combat youth unemployment. We have to start a long discussion on finding new ways and tools to tackle the crisis."

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said: "For the first time since the crisis began, we have the foundations of a success story. Of course, we are not out of the woods yet. Our turnaround is very real, but still fragile. But we have in place early warning signalling mechanisms to identify any deviations from the right course and correct them on time. The recent months have not been easy politically. Greek people have suffered a lot and are still suffering. Our duty is to maintain social cohesion and public order so that the economy can operate and recovery can take place as soon as possible". PM Samaras referred to the performance of the Greek economy in eliminating public deficits, achieving primary surplus and improving its international competitiveness. He expressed his determination to continue with the reforms and to speed up privatisation projects. "Our tri-party government - politically-speaking the first such coalition in decades - has managed in just eight months to make more structural changes than any government dared to consider in past decades. A Greek success story will be a relief for Greece and solid proof that the Eurozone has the strength, depth and capacity to surpass its worse problems. It will be a Greek success, a European success and an EPP success".

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Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.


The EPP Group Presidency and Heads of National Delegations is taking place in Athens on 7 and 8 March 2013. Delegates are debating the political and economic reforms which are underway in Greece. They will also discuss the security of the EU's external borders, the European Neighbourhood Policy, and relations with the East.