Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos on Thursday stressed the need to terminate dead-end austerity policies and replace them with policies for growth and social justice, during his meeting with European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici at the presidential mansion, in the presence of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.
After welcoming Moscovici, Pavlopoulos noted that his arrival coincided with the “final stretch” of the Greek programme and thanked him warmly for his contribution, both in this direction and towards the process of Greek debt relief, which was – as he noted – an obligation of Greece’s partners.
Addressing the European Commissioner, the Greek president pointed out that Moscovici’s contribution to Greece concerned the eurozone in general, as Greece’s case was related to the cohesion of the eurozone.
Pavlopoulos also stressed the need for changes, both within the Eurogroup and through the transformation of European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European Monetary Fund, as well as changes to the means available to the European Central Bank for dealing with the generalised debt crisis that was coming and posed a grave danger on a global level.
“Greece supports you in this endeavor,” Pavlopoulos concluded, expressing hope that European institutions in the future will make use of the Commissioner’s skills and personality in this effort.
On his part, Moscovici noted that his visit to Athens was taking place at an important moment for Greece and all of Europe.
“It is a moment of trust and hope. Hope and trust in Greece and for Greece,” he noted.
Moscovici pointed to signs that Greece’s economy was recovering, creating new jobs and prospects for the Greek people. It was also a moment of hope, he added, because Greece appeared to be emerging from the programme on very good terms. The Commissioner said he was very optimistic about the future for Greece because all the necessary reforms have been implemented.
“We will see what the sitation is after the conclusion of the third review. We are also expecting the fourth programme review, of course, so that by June 21 Greece’s exit from the programme will be successfully completed,” the Commissioner added.
However, he noted that there are now two issues that must still faced: The first concerned post-programme surveillance for Greece after the end of the programme, where he noted that Greeks have to decide on their own what exit strategy they will adopt; The second issue was the issue of Greece’s debt.
“But I am optimistic and I believe that our efforts will be successful,” he underlined.