NEWS

Coalition leaders discuss Brussels deal, no talk of reshuffle

The leaders of the Greek three-party coalition government, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left’s Fotis Kouvelis, met at the Maximos Mansion in Athens on Wednesday to discuss a deal reached by eurozone Finance Ministers and the International Monetary Fund regarding the issue of Greek debt in Brussels on Monday.

There was no talk of a government reshuffle during the meeting between the three leaders.

Speaking to members of the press following the meeting Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis (photo) welcomed the Brussels agreement as a “particularly positive development,” a deal which he said justified his party’s continuous support of the current Greek administration.

Kouvelis emphasized the need for the country to focus on growth and creating jobs, as well as providing a safety net for the weakest members of society.

“The mood has changed,” noted PASOK’s Venizelos, who added that the country was now “standing on its feet.” He also stressed the need for the “recapitalization of banks, not bankers” and for liquidity in the market.

On Tuesday Prime Minister Antonis Samaras described the deal struck in Brussels as one that would secure Greece’s place in the eurozone area through the release of more bailout funding and reducing its debt significantly in the coming years.

Eurozone finance minister and the IMF agreed on a formula that is expected to reduce Greece debt from a projected 189 percent of GDP next year to 124 percent in 2020 and lower than 110 percent by 2022.

The Eurogroup agreed to release in December the sum of 34.4 billiom euros of the 43.7 billion Greece was scheduled to receive this year, with the remaining 9.3 billion euros due to be released in three tranches in the beginning of next year.

In a televised speech on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Samaras hailed the deal, stating that it signaled “the end of a very dark period for Greece.” Samaras noted that the EU-IMF agreement had helped the country to “regain its credibility, lay the foundations for the Greek debt to become sustainable and secure its position in the eurozone, adding that it “rewards the sacrifices of the Greek people and opens the road to growth.”

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