President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso in a speech on the outcome of the Spring European Council at the European Parliament Plenary Session argued: “…Some people continue to say that Greece will not make it. I ask why? Why should Greece not be able to do the necessary reforms to its competitiveness? I believe it is possible. The Greek government and the Greek Parliament believe it is possible. The decision on PSI shows that it can be possible.
“The priority now is to make the second programme work. This is our collective task: supporting the Greek authorities and the Greek people. To that end, the Commission is already taking concrete steps: Together with those Commissioners most closely involved, I have had very concrete talks with Prime Minister Papademos and his team about getting key growth-enhancing decisions taken immediately. As you will have seen from my letter, we have agreed to concentrate on a number of key priorities. Improving youth employment, promoting a more business-friendly environment, providing liquidity to SMEs, sweeping away barriers to the absorption of structural funds.
“These are all areas where we can make real progress in weeks, not months or years. The Commission Task Force under Horst Reichenbach is currently on the ground discussing how to put these measures into practice with the Greek government.
“And finally, just yesterday I held a meeting with President Hoyer of the EIB, the European Investment Bank, to examine how our support for Greece can be made more effective. To cement this approach, I intend, in the coming weeks, to present, together with Vice President Rehn, a Communication on growth and jobs for Greece, taking stock of the progress that has been made and setting out the top priorities for the future. As I set out in the Roadmap to Stability and Growth, finding a lasting solution to the problems in Greece is an essential prerequisite for stability. Without stability there is no confidence. And without confidence we will not get growth and jobs…”