Following the informal dinner of the members of the European Council, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in a statement referred to the Greek case: “On behalf of euro area leaders, I reaffirm that we want Greece to remain in the euro area while respecting its commitments.
We are fully aware of the significant efforts already made by the Greek citizens. The eurozone has shown considerable solidarity, having already disbursed together with the IMF nearly 150 billion euro in support of Greece since 2010. We will ensure that European structural funds and instruments are mobilised to bring Greece on a path towards growth and job creation.
Continuing the vital reforms to restore debt sustainability, foster private investment and reinforce its institutions is the best guarantee for a more prosperous future in the euro area. We expect that after the elections, the new Greek Government will make that choice.”
As regards the general conclusions of the European Council, Van Rompuy noted: “I called this meeting for colleagues to discuss how to boost growth in Europe. Tonight’s meeting was about putting pressure, focusing minds and clearing the air.”
He stressed: “The discussion about growth is not new. We already share a growth strategy and it has been a constant concern. However, our ongoing work on growth has been overshadowed by our vital efforts to ensure financial stability in the Eurozone. But it is no less important.
And there should be no misunderstanding: it is obvious that opposing “deficit reduction” and “growth” is a false debate. They are two sides of the same coin. Without sound public finances there can be no sustainable growth; but without sustainable growth, the measures to bring our debt levels under control will be done in vain…”
“First of all we discussed the three main pillars of a growth strategy that is still based on the EU 2020 strategy. The EU 2020 strategy is the basis for our growth initiatives. In the short term, we will structure our work around the following three pillars.
First, we need to mobilise EU policies to fully support growth; second, we need to step up our efforts to finance the economy through investments and thirdly we need to strengthen job-creation…”