Euro not in danger, Greece will survive
Updated: 2011-02-09 14:56
Eurogroup's chairman and Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker addresses reporters in Athens February 8, 2011. The euro will survive the bloc's debt crisis and so will euro zone member Greece, Juncker said on Tuesday during a visit to Athens. [Photo/Agencies]
ATHENS -- The European common currency is not under threat and Greece will survive the current debt crisis thanks to euro, said Eurogroup President Jean Claude Juncker during a visit in Athens on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister of Luxemburg repeated European Union's firm support to member state Greece during a meeting with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou on the state of ailing Greek economy.
"Europe fully supports Greece. In the rest of Europe we all admire Greek peoples for the ongoing effort, with the exception of some idiots who speak in an inappropriate manner," said Juncker in statements to the press after the meeting.
He reiterated support for an extension of the repayment period of the loans released to Athens by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union since last May help it overcome the crisis.
A delegation of high-ranking EU-IMF officials will visit Athens this week for a regular audit of the progress of an austerity and reform program to exit the crisis, ahead of the release of the fourth tranche of funds from the 110-billion-euro (150 billion U.S. dollars) aid package.
Juncker expressed confidence on the final result, noting that if targets are not fully met there is the option of the implementation of supplementary measures.
On the agenda of talks in Athens on Tuesday was also the new effort to promote a Competitiveness Pact in the eurozone.
Eurozone leaders agreed last week to work towards closer fiscal and economic coordination ahead of the next EU summit on March 25.
"We examine the idea put forward by Germany and France. We will see when the baby is born," said Juncker, noting that Luxembourg, as Greece, is pro-competitiveness, but still there are issues pending.
"Europe must make the necessary decisions soon ," added Papandreou on the debt crisis in Europe.
In regards to the Greek crisis, the Greek Premier stressed that the government was forced to implement swiftly austerity measures last year, repeating that the aim now is to change Greece through a series of structural reforms.
"The country is on the right track and Greeks should be optimistic for the future," said Papandreou.
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