Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, addressing the conference of the European People’s Party (EPP) Group of the European Parliament said: “Greece now has the foundations of a success story, for the first time since the financial crisis began.”
Samaras anticipated that “recovery will come by the end of 2013″, noting that “it had a tough year, but Greece succeeded in fulfilling the ‘prior actions’ and attaining its fiscal targets for the first time in decades”.
“The Greek people have suffered greatly and continue to suffer,” the premier said, stressing, however, that the initial data for this year indicate that “we will meet the targets for a primary surplus”, noting also that the execution of last year’s (2012) budget “is more than satisfactory, despite the larger-than-expected recession”.
“We cannot allow a destroyed middle class and a desperate youth,” he stressed, making several references in his address to the rampant unemployment among the young, which, Samaras said, is an immense problem given that “the unemployment trends are unbearable and worrisome and we must reverse them immediately”.
“Our duty is to maintain social cohesion and public order so that the economy can operate and recovery can take place as soon as possible,” the premier said.
He also spoke of “populist voices that are being heard from right and left” which, however, “are incapable of derailing the effort”.
Replying to a question, Samaras said that there is no common European policy on the issue of EEZs at this time, resulting in each member state dealing with these matters by itself, AMNA reports.
“Your government belongs to the team of EPP government leaders who are fighting the crisis with courage and determination, like Ireland, Latvia and Poland, just to mention a few”, the Chairman of the EPP Group, Joseph Daul told Samaras, and praised the hard work of the Greek government and the Greek people in putting the country back on the track of economic development.