Greece is meeting its goals, PM Samaras says

Greece is exiting a painful crisis thanks to the hard efforts and maturity of its people and the unprecedented European solidarity, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Monday underlined after meeting with visiting European Commission President-elect Jean Claude Juncker.

Samaras referred to Juncker’s decision to launch his tour of the European capitals from Athens, noting the special meaning of the gesture and spoke highly of him.

On his part, Juncker expressed his love for Greece and thanked the Greek prime minister for his support to his candidacy for European Commission president.

Prime Minister Samaras underlined that Greece is meeting all its goals, is exiting the recession and enters a new era with competitiveness and no problems.

He said that the discussion with Juncker focused on the new era and on ways to stabilize the new situation and boost social cohesion in Greece and Europe. “Such a crisis should not be repeated,” he said, “we should not return to deficits, we should turn hope into a visible prospect for all. Greece, as far as fiscal adjustment is concerned, has achieved something which is internationally unprecedented; it managed to have primary surpluses after 21 years and one year earlier than it was anticipated. As regards reforms, it went up 111 places in the international rankings and returned to the international markets a year earlier than expected.”

Samaras made a comparison with Argentina that still hasn’t returned to the markets, noting that “Greece has avoided what Argentina was unable to avoid, and this happened when there were voices suggesting us to follow the example of disorderly default. This was possible because Greece stayed under the European umbrella thanks to Mr. Juncker’s help as the president of the Eurogroup. Mistakes have been made on the way, but we have learned from them and we overcome them. Many predicted the worst for Greece and Europe but they were proven wrong. Staying under the umbrella of the Eurozone was what saved Greece.”