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Posted on: August 29th, 2012 by Julie jalloul No Comments

Samaras: “We are waging a battle to distance the risk of exiting the euro”

Samaras ypoyrgiko

photo: ND facebook

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Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said yesterday Greece is doing its best to ensure that it remains in the Eurozone and to speed up a return to economic recovery.

“We are waging a battle to distance the risk of the country’s exit from the euro… The battle is being waged to strengthen the country’s negotiating position, in order to deliver what we, the three political leaders supporting the government, have promised: growth,” Samaras added, ANA reports, after briefing Greek President Karolos Papoulias on his recent meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

The Premier is meeting today with coalition partners Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis to brief them on his recent meetings in Berlin and Paris as well as the austerity package that media reports have suggested is close to becoming final. The Premier further said that “the drachma lobby has lost a decisive round”, adding that “we still have a lot of work ahead of us”. According to media reports, upon his arrival at the Presidential Mansion, Samaras told Papoulias that “the ship has started to turn, but this doesn’t mean we have less work to do, that’s why we must and we are running.”

In a meeting yesterday between Finance minister Yannis Stournaras, Citizen Protection minister Nikos Dendias, Defense minister Panos Panagiotopoulos and the heads of the three branches of the armed forces, as well as officers from the police and fire departments, cuts in uniform payrolls were discussed with ministers continuing to react to the measure. According to protothema.gr, the original intention of the government was to replace this year΄s special payroll cuts (EUR 205 million) with equivalent horizontal cuts in expenses and to implement the measure in 2013 (saving EUR 600 million annually). Officials are also discussing the weighted average reduction of 12-14% in payroll costs for doctors, teachers, diplomats, civil servants, police, armed forces, but propose that it should be scaled to protect sectors that have already been severely affected, and are expressing strong opposition. The largest cut in this proposal, about 20%, will come to judges and diplomats, as they are the group with the highest incomes, followed by teachers and priests by around 10%, doctors by 8% and uniformed officers by 5%.

Greece’s membership of the eurozone is «irreversible» European Council president Herman Van Rompuy said yestreday during a visit to Spain to discuss the eurozone crisis. “Let there be no doubt the euro is irreversible and Greece’s presence in the euro as well,” Van Rompuy told a joint news conference in Madrid with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. “It is only by adopting strong measures by each individual member state and Rajoy said a Greek exit would be a setback for the region. “If Greece leaves or anyone leaves the eurozone it would be a collective failure of Europe,” he said, AFP reports.



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