Renzi sees possibility for renegotiations over Greek debt
Updated: 2015-02-04 09:12
A deal between Greece and the European Union (EU) to re-negotiate Greek massive debt is possible, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday after holding talks with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras in Rome. [Photo/Agencies]
ROME - A deal between Greece and the European Union (EU) to re-negotiate Greek massive debt is possible, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday after holding talks with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras in Rome.
"I strongly believe the conditions to find a point of agreement with the European institutions exist," PM Renzi said at a press conference after the meeting.
The Italian PM described the anti-austerity leftist Syriza party's victory in recent snap elections in Greece as "a message of hope coming from an entire generation demanding attention and care for those who have suffered most from the economic crisis".
Renzi promised Greece's PM his full support and openness to dialogue both in bilateral cooperation and other areas.
Yet, he stressed the importance for Greece, like Italy or other EU countries, to pursue reforms.
"Each of us in his own country must implement the necessary reforms against corruption, tax evasion, red tape, and continue on the path of structural reforms," Renzi said.
Greece's new prime minister had arrived early afternoon in Rome, his second stop after Cyprus on a tour of European capitals with his Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to discuss a possible re-negotiation of Greece's 240 billion euros ($275 billion) bailout.
In Rome, Tsipras asked for time for his new cabinet to draft a proper plan for the debt emergency, but also vowed the country would not increase its deficit.
"We need to have more time to define our economic recovery in the medium term, including what I would call sweeping reforms," he said at the press conference.
"This will be our first commitment to Greek people, EU institutions and future generations: we will not create new deficit and we will achieve a balanced budget".
Also on Tuesday, Italian Economy minister Pier Carlo Padoan and Greece's Varoufakis held separate talks.
No official details were given on Greek new proposals over debt and economic recovery, but Varoufakis said Athens was seeking in Italy "a more rational approach within the euro-zone framework".
"We need a bridge agreement that gives us the necessary time, like a month or six weeks starting from end of February, in order to finalize a deal that we would start implementing from June 1," Varoufakis said to reporters after the meeting, according to ANSA news agency.
Padoan declared in a statement that "focusing on growth is a priority to guarantee the sustainability of Greece's debt and create new employment in the country".
Yet, he also agreed with Prime Minister Renzi that "Greece must place itself on a sustainable and strong growth path through a clear agenda of structural reforms" and that "the EU (and its financial institutions) are the place... where each member state can discuss and deal with their own problems, trusting in the possibility of finding common solutions in the interest of all".