Venizelos meetings in Washington ‘positive’

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos described the meetings he had in Washington on Monday with his US counterpart Timothy Geithner and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, as «positive» and «interesting.»

Venizelos provided no details about the meetings, but he appeared satisfied and suggested that both the US administration and the IMF are fully backing Athens in its effort to streamline Greece?s economy in the wake of last Thursday?s eurozone agreement on a second bailout package to the country.

“The discussion I had today with US Treasury Secretary Geithner was very specific, very practical and very positive. The US administration supports the new program for Greece and will express its support to the markets and the international community.

“This is an act of support for Greece and its citizens, who are making sacrifices in order for us to restructure our country… as we have a new opportunity in our hands.

“We mustn?t relax, but we do have to grab this opportunity ahead of us.»

After his meeting with the IMF’s new managing director, Venizelos said: «I have had a very interesting and lengthy meeting with Mrs Lagarde and her staff. We discussed all issues. The IMF’s attitude toward us is very positive, but everything depends on us and our ability to implement the program and register specific results.

“If we do that, then the IMF and the international community will continue to support Greece until it regains its fiscal sovereignty and independence, until it conquers the position that reflects its history and the abilities of the Greek nation. In this respect, the meeting was full of optimism and support [for Greece].”