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Venizelos slams idea of commissioner for Greek budget

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has dismissed suggestions that a European commissioner should be appointed to oversee Greece?s budget, saying that it was not fair to ask Greeks to compromise their nation?s dignity for further financial assistance.

Speaking to journalists before departing for Brussels, Venizelos reacted to questions about a leaked set of German proposals calling for greater EU powers over Greece?s budget decisions and a mechanism to ensure that Athens uses EU-IMF loans to pay its debt before using the money for public expenditure.

?Whoever puts before a people the dilemma of choosing between financial assistance and national dignity disregards basic historical lessons,? said Venizelos.

?I am certain that the political leaderships of all the European countries, especially those that because of their size have an added responsibility for Europe?s course know how issues are raised between friends and partners that have joined their historic fates.?

Venizelos also pointed out that the EU leaders? summit on October 26, 2011 had set up a process for monitoring Greece?s progress in implementing the measures agreed with its lenders. He said that this mechanism suffices and is based on the principle that Greece retains responsibility for ensuring the program is implemented.

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