NEWS

Samaras, Finnish peer strike upbeat note on Greece's prospects

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed that Greece is on the road to growth on Friday following talks with his Finnish counterpart Jyrki Katainen while the latter praised Samaras' government for following "responsible policies" to put the country back on the road to economic recovery.

The fact that Greece is on track to post a primary surplus is the best indication of the country turning the corner, Samaras told a joint press conference with Katainen.

"After six endless, painful years for everyone, Greece is finally returning to growth," he said.

Setting out Greece's priorities while at the helm of the European Union's rotating presidency, Samaras referred to the promotion of growth and employment and the deepening of a banking union in the EU which the Greek premier said he hoped would happen before European Parliament elections in May.

Katainen, for his part, noted that "the crisis demands responsible policies and that is exactly what you've done here." "Your country has achieved admirable results even though the battle has not yet been won," he added.

The people of Finland and the rest of Europe stand ready to help Greece, Katainen said, adding "we admire the courage which both government and citizens have shown during these hardships."

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