Turnaround is real but still fragile, Greek PM Samaras says

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday expressed his confidence about the prospects of the Greek economy while pledging to continue with structural reforms demanded by the nation’s foreign creditors.

“For the first time since the crisis began, we have the foundations of a success story,” Samaras said during a meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Athens.

“Of course, we are not out of the woods yet. Our turnaround is very real, but still fragile,” Samaras said.

The conservative leader of the country’s three-party coalition said the government must maintain social cohesion and public order so as to accelerate recovery.

“The recent months have not been easy politically. Greek people have suffered a lot and are still suffering,” he said.

Samaras hailed government efforts in slashing public deficits and achieving a primary surplus while pledging to push with reforms and privatizations.

The Greek coalition, Samaras said, has managed in just eight months to implement more structural changes than any of its predecessors dared to consider in previous decades.

“A Greek success story will be a relief for Greece and solid proof that the eurozone has the strength, depth and capacity to surpass its worse problems,” Samaras said.

“It will be a Greek success, a European success and an EPP success,” he said.

Troika meeting postponed

Meanwhile however, a meeting between troika representatives and Samaras which was due to take place this week has been postponed until next week as a number of issues remain unresolved between the Greek government and its lenders.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said on Wednesday that there was a “long road ahead” in the talks between the two sides, which are taking place as part of the latest review of the Greek fiscal adjustment program.

A positive review will help unlock the final sub-tranche of loan funding that Greece is due to receive in the first quarter of this year, worth 2.8 billion euros.

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