EU official rules out prospect of Greece's euro-zone exit
Updated: 2011-01-17 13:10
ATHENS -- European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier on Friday ruled out a prospect of Greece's exit from the euro-zone.
"Since May 2010, EU member states have shown solidarity and international credit markets should not underestimate this message and the focus of European partners on better governance and supervision," said Barnier during a press conference here after a series of meetings with Greek officials.
Last May, debt-ridden Greece narrowly escaped default through a newly created support mechanism of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Greece pledged harsh austerity measures and structural reforms in exchange for an EU-IMF multi- billion euro aid package released over a three-year period.
"Greece is still in a state of emergency, but has reasons to hope for a better future, since there are prospects for development. Amidst difficult times, Greece made the right decision and has undertaken painful efforts, defending its role in euro-zone," said Barnier.
The EU commissioner noted that Greece has plenty of comparative advantages in tourism, shipping and agriculture sectors which could be better exploited, adding that the Greek banking sector is still strong.
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