Friday November 28, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Samaras, Barroso focus on positives as EU baton is passed

 SYRIZA leader Tsipras boycotts ceremony in protest at the government’s agenda for the presidency
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras looks at European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso as he shields his eyes from the sun during the take over ceremony of the six-month rotation of the Greek EU Presidency at Zappeion Hall in Athens on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Wednesday both sought to strike an upbeat note at an official ceremony for Greece’s assumption of the European Union’s rotating six-month presidency, emphasizing the country’s progress in overhauling its problematic economy and playing down the fragility of Samaras’s government.

Addressing a joint press conference with Barroso, Samaras declared that “Greece, after great sacrifices, is leaving the crisis behind it.” Apart from economic recovery, he said Athens would focus during the presidency on battling unemployment and tackling security issues, including the problem of unchecked immigration.

Samaras referred to forthcoming European Parliament elections in May as an important landmark. “Voters will choose whether they want Europe or not,” Samaras said in response to questions about the stability of his government and the possibility of losses at the polls.

Barroso, for his part, acknowledged the risk of a rise in “extremism and populism” due to citizens protesting austerity but said, “I don’t expect these forces to win.”

The EC chief urged the Greek government, and people, to stick to reforms that have been pledged in return for continued rescue funding from the country’s foreign creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. “This is not the time to slow down the pace of reforms,” he said. “My point is very clear: Programs work, so we should not waste the efforts so far.”

He stressed that Greece was expected to emerge from its recession this year and noted that early talk of a “Grexit” had slowed recovery.

Barroso also lauded Greece’s role in its previous four EU presidencies, noting that it had played a pivotal role in pursuing EU enlargement and boosting institutions.

Conspicuous by his absence at the official assumption ceremony at the Athens Concert Hall was leftist SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras. He boycotted the event in protest at the government’s agenda for the presidency, which the leftists deem puts insufficient focus on boosting growth and curbing unemployment. Tsipras was also said to be angered by the postponement of a scheduled visit to Athens this week by members of a European Parliament committee who are probing the role and activities of the troika.

At the press conference, Samaras took the opportunity to denounce Tsipras and SYRIZA as “anti-European and anti-Western.”

In a related development Wednesday, the head of the European Parliament’s Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Hannes Swoboda, called for the “abolition” of Greece’s so-called troika of foreign lenders, whose envoys are due to return to Athens next week, accusing them of imposing “ruthless austerity” on Greeks.

Fears of protests disrupting the festivities Wednesday were not realized as security was tightened to protect dozens of foreign visitors. A small protest by leftists outside Athens University resulted in minor scuffles.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday Jan 8, 2014 (21:10)  
Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadi transit point
Seven PASOK MPs voice support for party leader
New law could transfer control of unused buildings
Greece set to accept continued role for IMF
PPC profits power up in Jan-Sept
Public Power Corporation’s impressive profits in the first nine months of 2014 create significant scope for a reduction in electricity rates and are the result of a cut in spending on fuel a...
Papastratos banking on exports
Leading tobacco firm Papastratos on Wednesday announced that a planned investment of 25 million euros in the transformation of the company’s factory into an exporting center is in the works....
Inside Business
SOCCER
PAOK is one win from Europa League´s last 32
A late brace by Stefanos Athanasiadis gifted PAOK a precious win at Dynamo Minsk on Thursday, meaning that the Thessaloniki team is one win away from graduating from the group stage of the E...
BASKETBALL
First defeat for Olympiakos in Euroleague
Olympiakos suffered its first Euroleague loss of the season going down 89-70 at Laboral Kutxa on Thursday, although the Greek team remains the favorite to clinch the top spot in its pool. Th...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The presidential election paradox
A few days ago, speaking with a visiting colleague who neither works in Europe nor covers events here, I suddenly felt how much we Greeks take for granted some things that should have worrie...
EDITORIAL
SYRIZA needs a Plan B
The main opposition SYRIZA party needs to present the Greek people with a plan B, because, whether we like or not, those who matter – European decision-makers and the markets – have made it ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadi transit point
2. PAOK is one win from Europa League´s last 32
3. First defeat for Olympiakos in Euroleague
4. PPC profits power up in Jan-Sept
5. Papastratos banking on exports
6. Saudi group Olayan to enter Costa Navarino
more news
Today
This Week
1. Lebanese FM: Cyprus may be jihadi transit point
2. Greece paralyzed by major strike, flights cancelled
3. Greek diplomat dies in fall under Thai train
4. Greece scrambles to find food, shelter for 700 migrants on crippled ship
5. Chief suspect in Piraeus bar shooting arrested
6. Scraping together the 180 MPs will not be enough
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
3. Extremism from a bygone era
4. Greece paralyzed by major strike, flights cancelled
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. Cosco’s Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.