The Greek people made a huge effort in the last years, says former Italian PM Letta

Former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta highlighted the need to “recognise that the Greek people made a huge effort in the years of the crisis,” in statements to Athens Macedonian News Agency on Thursday.

Letta, who was participating in an Economist event held in Athens on Thursday, said that “the European Stability Mechanism should replace the International Monetary Fund, not only formally but in real terms and become a real European rescue fund for EU member states.”

On the eurozone, he underlined that “today we have a huge opportunity to see some key reforms needed in Europe take on a specific form, so that Europe is in a position to operate more efficiently and increase its resilience in future crises”.

On Greece, Letta pointed to encouraging messages of economic recovery in the country. Greek GDP had started increasing after many years and growth was expected to continue this year, while youth unemployment was falling, he pointed out.

“We must recognise that the Greek people made huge efforts in these years. We should not forget that the reforms approved by the Greek parliament concern many sectors and – as happens with changes, especially when they occur in a short space of time – they can bring some moments of tension,” he said.