SYRIZA MEP Papadimoulis: Next Eurogroup must produce ‘white smoke’ on Greek deal

The Eurogroup meeting on February 20 must and can produce an agreement on Greece’s program review, the Vice-President of the European Parliament and SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis told a plenary session of the European Parliament on Tuesday, opening a debate on Greece.

“As Mr. [European Commission Vice President Valdis] Dombrovskis told us […] according to official data by Eurostat, Greece is returning to growth and is exceeding the targets included in the [bailout] agreement. The primary surplus for 2016 was four times the agreed target,” Papadimoulis said.

“The IMF has missed again its forecasts and growth for 2017 and 2018 will be around 3 percent,” he added and urged MEPs to help Greeks achieve economic growth and reduce unemployment.

“Or will you let time go by, bowing to blackmail from either Mr. [Wolfgang] Schaeuble or the IMF, who produce instability and regression?” he asked and added that those who speak of a Grexit are damaging the Eurozone seeking a “Tsipras-exit”.

Papadimoulis continued by lashing out against the German finance minister, saying he must “stop playing with matches inside a fuel depot”.

“They are shouting at him in Germany; not just the Left – the Greens and the Social Democrats, but Mr. [Angela] Merkel herself is trying to put the brakes on him,” he said.