Venizelos: Negotiations with creditors are currently at a ‘complex’ stage

Negotiations with Greece’s creditors are currently at a ‘complex’ stage, government Vice-President, Foreign Minister and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos commented on Tuesday, after a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that was also attended by Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis.

Venizelos, head of the junior party in Greece’s coalition government, stressed that the negotiations were complicated and simultaneously served two goals: to end the current programme and pave the way for the period that will follow.

He said that Greece’s partners, while acknowledging that Greece’s results on the fiscal front were impressive, were sceptical because of the political and social climate in the country, meaning that the domestic situation, which he described as “sterile and unproductive” was hampering the negotiations.

He also noted that each of the two sides in the negotiation had self-evident and legitimate priorities, which for Greece were its national goals, while the European partners were anxious to prevent the Euro zone from slipping back into a crisis. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), on its part, was striving to carve out its own role and to have this extend to areas such as the Euro zone, Venizelos added.

“In other words, this game is very difficult, very tough and very specific and we must create the conditions for an unbroken domestic front,” he stressed.
According to PASOK’s president, the message was clear: the people must support the effort and the main opposition must rise to the level of responsibility and maturity that the conditions demanded.

He also underlined the government’s absolute support for Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis and stressed that he should not be made a target.