NEWS

Papoulias takes Greek request to EU [UPDATE]

President Karolos Papoulias, the head of the Greek delegation at a crucial summit that begins in Brussels on Thursday, has reportedly delivered to European Union leaders a letter from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras seeking adjustments to the country?s debt deal with its international creditors.

According to sources, the letter notes that the majority of Greek citizens expressed their desire to stay in the eurozone and in the European Union with their vote in the June 17 elections and that EU leaders, for their part, should recognize the sacrifices the Greek people have made to qualify for international rescue loans.

The contents of the letter have not been made public but it is believed to emphasize the need for certain ?adjustments? to Greece’s bailout, due to a worsening recession and high unemployment, rather than demanding specific modifications.

The Greek problem is not expected to dominate the agenda at the EU summit following appeals lodged by both Spain and Cyprus for European rescue funding and the tensions being stoked by German Chancellor Angela Merkel?s persistent rejection of Eurobonds as a solution to a broadening eurozone crisis.

Sources indicated that EU officials might briefly discuss Greek calls for amendments to its debt deal despite a general reluctance to offer any concessions beyond an extension of Greece?s fiscal adjustment period.

In any case, no decisions are expected to be taken on the Greek problem ahead of the planned visit to Athens next week by representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, known as the troika.

Samaras, whom Papoulias is filling in for at the summit after the premier was told to stay home and rest following eye surgery, will be in regular contact with the president over the course of the summit, sources said. Papoulias was scheduled to meet with Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias in Brussels at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The newly-appointed finance minister Yannis Stournaras also stayed in Athens to prepare for the anticipated arrival next week of officials representing Greece’s creditors. Stournaras is expected to be sworn in on Monday on the return of outgoing Finance Minister Giorgos Zannias who is in Brussels with Papoulias.