PM George Papandreou`s interview in “Guardian”

“Greece is on a normalised road,” Prime Minister George Papandreou said in an interview in the UK newspaper The Guardian, noting that in the nine months since his government took office “it has been crisis management, day in, day out,” and stressing that, in politics “you have to make tough decisions.”
In the interview, titled “Reinvigorating Greece is an Olympian task,” concerning the reactions to the austerity measures, the premier admits that “naturally I feel very bad that we had to take these measures and that our financial sovereignty is under the tutelage of the so-called troika (the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank).”
“It’s not a happy state to be in, and the most painful thing is to take measures against people who were not responsible for the crisis,” Papandreou said. He goes on to explain that the option for the country was to default, or take these measures.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)
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Stability programme on “the right track”

The team of experts from the so-called “troika” (European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank), after completing their monitoring of the progress of the stability programme, said that the latter is “on track on all of the dimensions.”
 The government is ahead of the deficit reduction target set in the plan for this year and tax hikes are boosting revenues, according to the team.
The government is also making progress on more long-term economic reforms, which can help its future finances, they added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister George Papandreou, who attended the European Union Summit in Brussels yesterday, underlined that “his government is determined to go ahead with important and difficult reforms,” in order to put the country on the right path for achieving its goals. 
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Bank of Greece Governor: Full confidence in Government

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Georgios Provopoulos, the Governor of the Bank of Greece’s, said (on February 22) – in an interview with Bloomberg in Athens – he is confident that Greece will achieve its “very ambitious” deficit-reduction goals and avert further credit-rating downgrades.
Rating agencies “want evidence that the plan is being implemented on target” and “some time will have to pass before they can form a better judgement,” said Provopoulos, who is also a European Central Bank council member.
“I have full confidence in the government meeting its goals. They have to succeed.
And they will, I’m sure of that,” he stressed, adding that he takes the commitment of European governments to stand by Greece at face value. The lack of a detailed rescue plan isn’t disappointing, he said. 
Bloomberg.com: Provopoulos Confident Greece Will Meet

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”

European Central Bank on Greek Economy

european-central-bank3(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Addressing the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet predicted that “after two difficult years such as 2008 and 2009, 2010 will be the year of EU’s return to growth.”  Referring to the , Trichet pointed out that all parties comprising the eurozone should live up to their responsibilities adding that it is crucial to maintain discipline in macroeconomic policy-making. He further underlined the necessity to address structural inefficiencies leading to adverse implications in each country, including Greece. Commenting on the euro’s resilience, Trichet stressed that current monetary trends in all currencies are causing apprehension and it is not unusual for countries in the eurozone to diverge in terms of their economic indexes. A similar situation is reported among states in the USA. Earlier this week, European Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Joaquin Almunia, dismissed concerns over the recourse to external supervising institutions. Visit the Statistical Press Releases issued by the European Central Bank