NEWS

Samaras refuses to give eurozone written commitment

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, said on Tuesday evening that he is not prepared to agree to the eurozone?s demand to commit in writing to economic reforms linked to the October 26 bailout agreement.

“There is such a thing as national dignity. I have repeatedly explained that, in order to protect the Greek economy and the euro, the implementation of the October 26 agreement is inevitable,» Samaras said in the statement, referring to a new EU debt deal hammered out for Greece by EU leaders.

“I won’t allow anyone to question the statements I have made.»

This statement came just a few hours after Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told a cabinet that five top Greek officials would co-sign a letter — demanded on Monday by Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker — reaffirming their commitment to Greece’s bailouts deals and economic reforms in order to secure later this month an 8-billion-euro tranche of rescue funding on which the country’s solvency depends.

Venizelos said that those officials are Papandreou and Samaras, the Bank of Greece governor, the new prime minister and the finance minister (without determining whether he will keep this post or not).

European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn also said on Tuesday that the written commitments from Greece to re-establish confidence following the political developments last week.

“It is essential that the entire political class is now restoring the confidence that had been lost in the Greek commitment to the EU/IMF programme,» said Rehn.

“It is indeed essential that a new government will express its explicit and unequivocal commitment in writing concerning all the decisions taken by the 17 euro area member states on Oct. 27,» he said.

The next rescue loan installment «can then be disbursed once there is full clarity about Greece sticking to the agreed course and policies,» Rehn said. «It should be clear in Athens that solidarity is a two-way street and we expect a united political class to carry out its part of responsibilities.”