Historic decisions for Greece and the Eurozone

Following a marathon negotiating session of European Council on the 26th of October in Brussels, Heads of State and Government of the Eurozone member states agreed on a comprehensive set of measures which reflect their unwavering determinationto overcome together the current difficulties and to take all the necessary steps towards a deeper economic union commensurate with their monetary union.
In particular on Greece, there was an agreement that should secure the decline of the Greek debt to GDP ratio with an objective of reaching 120% by 2020. It also includes a voluntary contribution by private creditors, amounting to a nominal discount of 50% on notional Greek debt. Additionally, a new EU-IMF multiannual programme financing up to € 100 billion will be put in place by the end of the year, accompanied by a strengthening of the mechanisms for the monitoring of reforms implementation.
“The debt is absolutely sustainable now,” Papandreou told a press conference, earlier today, after the meeting of euro zone leaders.
“Greece can now settle its accounts with the past, once and for all. […] We can claim that a new day has come for Greece, and not only for Greece but also for Europe,” the premier added.
Primeminister.gr: Papandreou press conference after the euro summit (in Greek); European Council President: Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy following the meeting of the Euro Summit & Statement by President Barroso
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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PM George Papandreou at the EU Eastern Partnership Summit (Warsaw, 29-30/9/2011)

Prime Minister George Papandreou attended the EU Eastern Partnership Summit, held in Warsaw on September 29-30.
Addressing the summit, Papandreou urged his European partnersto explore ways of institutional cooperation that would help promote stability and prosperity in both the eastern and southern zones of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Papandreou proposed that the summit establish a small number of realistic and shared short-term and long-term targets, especially in areas of heightened interest that had a tangible impact on citizens, such as mobility, visas, tourism and energy.
“We will then be able to focus on their effective implementation for our mutual benefit,” he said, adding that too ambitious a programme could become counter-productive.
Η Σύνοδος για την Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Βαρσοβία στις 29 και 30 Σεπτεμβρίου, στο πλαίσιο της Πολωνικής Προεδρίας της ΕΕ.
Στη Σύνοδο συμμετείχαν εκπρόσωποι 33 χωρών, μεταξύ των οποίων τα 27 κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ και οι έξι χώρες της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης και του Νοτίου Καυκάσου: Αρμενία, Αζερμπαϊτζάν, Γεωργία, Μολδαβία, Ουκρανία και Λευκορωσία. Την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση  εκπροσώπησαν οι Πρόεδροι του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου, Herman Van Rompuy, του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου, Jerzy Buzek, της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής, Jose Manuel Barroso και η ύπατη εκπρόσωπος για την εξωτερική πολιτική και την πολιτική ασφάλειας, Catherine Ashton.
Η Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση (ΑΕΣ) αποτελεί ευρωπαϊκή πρωτοβουλία που αφορά στη συνεργασία των προαναφερθέντων 6 χωρών της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης.
Την Ελλάδα εκπροσώπησε ο πρωθυπουργός Γιώργος Παπανδρέου.
Στο περιθώριο του δείπνου εργασίας στις 29 Σεπτεμβρίου, ο πρωθυπουργός Γ. Παπανδρέου είχε συνομιλίες με τους πρωθυπουργούς της Γαλλίας Francois Fillon, της Ισπανίας Jose Zapatero, της Πορτογαλίας Pedro Coelho, της Ιρλανδίας Enda Kenny, της Εσθονίας Andrus Ansip με την γερμανίδα καγκελάριο Angela Merkel, με τον αντιπρόεδρο της βρετανικής κυβέρνησης, Nicholas Clegg, με τους Προέδρους της Ουκρανίας Viktor Yanukovich, και της Γεωργίας Mikheil Saakashvili.
Στις 29 Σεπτεμβρίου ο πρωθυπουργός είχε, επίσης, συνάντηση με τον Πρόεδρο του Αζερμπαϊτζάν, Ilham Aliyev, με τον οποίο συζήτησε ενεργειακά και οικονομικά θέματα, καθώς και εθνικά θέματα, όπως το Κυπριακό.
Στο περιθώριο της Συνόδου στις 30 Σεπτεμβρίου, ο πρωθυπουργός Γ. Παπανδρέου συναντήθηκε με τον Πρόεδρο του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου, Herman Van Rompuy, με τον οποίο συζήτησε μεταξύ άλλων για την πορεία της ελληνικής οικονομίας και την υλοποίηση των αποφάσεων της 21ης Ιουλίου.
Συναντήθηκε, επίσης, με την πρωθυπουργό της Σλοβακίας Iveta Radicova. 
Τα κυριότερα σημεία της εισήγησης του πρωθυπουργού Γ. Παπανδρέου στο δείπνο εργασίας των εθνικών αντιπροσωπειών έχουν ως εξής:
“Είναι γεγονός ότι φέτος η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χρειάστηκε να εστιάσει την προσοχή της σε άλλες γειτονικές περιοχές, κυρίως στο Νότο, λόγω των ιστορικών και ευρείας εμβέλειας εξελίξεων που σημειώθηκαν εκεί. Continue reading

EU backs up Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The European Union yesterday, in a joint statement by the Heads of State or Government, agreed to take determined and coordinated action to safeguard financial stability in the euro area, and expressed full support for the efforts of the Greek government and their commitment to do whatever is necessary to get the country’s public finances in order.
European commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said that the statement was intended to end speculation that Greece would require a bailout package, while adding that “the Greek government believe they do not need financial support.”
Addressing a press conference at the end of the informal summit in Brussels and referring to this agreement to assist Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou said:

“our partners assessed and ascertained our will to change, we convinced them, following our great efforts, and it is necessary for us to continue. We will succeed.”
Greece is aiming to reduce its deficit by 4 % of GDP this year, largely through cuts in public spending and an increase in taxes. However, Papandreou said that he would not hesitate to adopt more measures if it becomes necessary.
Council of the European Union: Agreement to support Greece; Kathimerini daily: EU offers help but no specific money pledge

PM George Papandreou at the World Economic Forum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Speaking as part of a panel – that also included Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet – at the annual World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland (January 27 -31), Prime Minister George Papandreou said that Greece would not leave the euro area and would use the discipline of membership to slash its budget deficit and make long-delayed structural economic reforms. “The answer is very simple. We went [to the market] for borrowing two days ago and we were five times oversubscribed. We’re not looking for money from anywhere else…” said Papandreou. He outlined an ambitious goal to reduce the deficit by four points this year and bring it below 3% by 2012, through measures taken as part of Greece’s Stability and Growth Programme (SGP)
The premier held a meeting with EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia yesterday, and the discussion focused on Greece’s SGP in light of the report that the European Commission will be submitting on February 3, on Greece. 
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso – speaking in Brussels on Thursday – stressed the need for the greater coordination of economic policies in the EU, emphasising that economic policies are not only a national issue, but European as well. Referring to Greece specifically, he expressed the conviction that the Greek government must be supported in its effort to fulfil its commitments in the framework of the SGP. 
See world reports – BBC.co.uk: Davos 2010: Greece denies a bail-out is needed; Reuters.com: Greece says being targeted as euro zone “weak link”