Greece seeking ‘a new narrative for Europe,’ Venizelos says

Greece’s presidency of the European Union, which began January 1st, is an opportunity for the crisis-hit country to present itself as an equal and sovereign member state of the bloc, Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos has said.

In an interview with Euronews on Wednesday, Venizelos, who is also deputy Prime Minister said Greece was seeking “a new narrative for Europe.”

“We therefore have to bring back into the discussion a Europe of culture, of civilization, of history, of the rule of law, of the welfare state – discussion of a Europe of growth, of innovation, a Europe of people who are conscious of its history and pursue prosperity for everyone,” Venizelos said.

The socialist leader also was confident that Greece, which has been battered by six years of recession, would soon see its way out of the woods.

“Over the past three and a half years, Greece has made the biggest fiscal adjustment in the history of the western economy. We began back in 2009 with a 12 percent primary deficit, and now we have achieved a primary surplus, which in terms of structural surplus – that is not taking into account the circumstantial results of the recession – is as high as 6.5 percent,” Venizelos told Euronews.

“We are by far the best-performing country in Europe in terms of primary fiscal results, and one of the best in the world,” he said.

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