Wednesday October 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
26o C
17o 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)  
Would-be commissioner Avramopoulos sets out priorities on migration
Money ring sent 4.5 mln abroad
Troika talks begin amid coalition tensions
Halandri Roma shacks to be demolished
NBG Pangaea eyes listing on foreign bourse, huge portfolio
Leading Greek property investment company NBG Pangaea is getting ready to spread its wings as it eyes the creation of a major portfolio worth up to 4 billion euros to be listed not only on t...
Out-of-control unpaid bills bring PPC to its knees
Public Power Corporation (PPC) is heading for a financial blackout as unpaid electricity bills are growing at an annual rate of 30 percent, having reached 1.7 billion euros at the end of Jul...
Inside Business
SOCCER
All team sports suspended next weekend in memory of dead fan
The government announced on Monday the suspension of all team sports events in Greece scheduled for next weekend, October 4 and 5, in the memory of the Ethnikos Piraeus fan who died a few ho...
SOCCER
Karamanos punishes Michel for deeming him surplus
Atromitos forced Olympiakos’s first loss this season in all competitions on Saturday to allow PAOK to go alone on top of the Super League table on Sunday. Odds-on title favorite Olympiakos l...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Next-day jitters
It is usual for Greek governments, whether one-party or coalitions (which are normally loath to actually work together), to claim that their only real challenge is dealing with the country’s...
EDITORIAL
No sweet debt deals
The lion’s share of Greece’s debt is held by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund. A writedown of the European part of the debt would require the approval of the ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. NBG Pangaea eyes listing on foreign bourse, huge portfolio
2. Out-of-control unpaid bills bring PPC to its knees
3. Banks feel optimistic ahead of stress test results
4. S&P upgrades OTE’s credit rating and revises outlook
5. Athens tourism fuels hotel occupancy
6. Would-be commissioner Avramopoulos sets out priorities on migration
more news
Today
This Week
1. Next-day jitters
2. Roma camp off Mesogeion Avenue set for demolition amid reactions
3. No sweet debt deals
4. Greek unemployment dips to 27 pct in June, but still highest in EU
5. Commissioner-designate Avramopoulos to face three-hour interview on EU's migration portfolio
6. Roma camp evacuation postponed; flow resumes on Mesogeion Avenue
Today
This Week
1. Greece may opt for unusual president to avoid snap polls, Venizelos says
2. Woman allegedly buried alive by accident in northern Greece
3. Salaries in Greece continue to slide, dipping 1.4 pct in Q2
4. Should you bet with Kissinger on where the world is heading?
5. Cypriots divided by 1974 war seek Shariah hub
6. The shocking thought of euro-dollar parity
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.