“All we need is a little air to breathe to make the economy run again and increase government revenue,” Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told German newspaper Bild, just a few days before the successive meetings with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande on Friday and Saturday respectively. “More time does not automatically mean more money,” Samaras noted. He estimated, if more time is given to Greece by its creditors, this would help the country return to growth.
According to Reuters, markets have enjoyed a strong run over the last few weeks on hopes that the new urgency in Europe to overcome its debt crisis may allow Greece to remain in euro and keep the bloc from unraveling. Rating firm Moody’s released a report saying that repair programs in troubled southern eurozone countries were having a significant benefit although overcoming the problems could take several more years.
Kathimerini writes Samaras is hoping that Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker will give Greece and its continued euro membership his strong backing following talks in Athens between the two men this afternoon, when the Premier will set out the measures Greek government plans to take. Sources said Samaras is hoping that unequivocal support from Juncker will set a positive tone for the week.
Jean Claude Juncker, who will also have dinner with Samaras at the Acropolis Museum, declined a request from opposition party SYRIZA to meet with its leader, Alexis Tsipras. The leftists had sent a request to the Luxembourg Embassy in Athens last week but were told Juncker would not have time for the meeting. Party sources blamed the government and the troika for the talks not being held. Tsipras had turned down an invitation to meet with troika representatives in July.