Erklärung des Griechischen Finanzministers Evangelos Venizelos

Das ungekürzte Statement des griechischen Finanzministers, Evangelos Venizelos, nach der Kabinettsstizung.

Good afternoon. A very critical and long Cabinet meeting came to an end a while ago. This is the second crucial Cabinet meeting since Tuesday, when we announced the decision to drastically speed up the structural changes for the new single payroll and grading system of the public sector employees, which will be applied in the wider public sector, for the labor reserve, for the restructuring of public organizations, for the liberalization of the labor market and for the enhancement of our national competitiveness.

The Prime Minister asked the Cabinet today to address a very critical situation that has developed in recent days in the Eurozone, in Europe and the global markets. There is no doubt that the lack of comprehensive institutions of economic governance at European and international level, acts as a catalyst and influences political and institutional developments, particularly in the European Union, which is at a threshold in the historical and institutional process of European integration.
This is our continent’s big problem, this is the big problem of the Eurozone which has the might of the common currency, the euro, an equally important to the dollar currency in international markets, but does not have the appropriate institutional and political support, since the Eurozone is a union of states that operates as an enlarged cooperation scheme within the European Union and it is not a mature integrated federal union like the U.S.

What happened in these recent days? We must clarify -this is the unanimous assessment of the Cabinet- that what we must face now has nothing to do with Troika’s visit and the so-called fifth review of Greece’s support program provided by our institutional partners from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The departure of the heads of the Troika last week, on September 2, was well planned and agreed, as I have stretched repeatedly and as the Troika itself has said in its relevant statements. Their absence for a few days was due to our need to process not only assess of the current budget for 2011, but also of the new draft budget for 2012, in the context of the medium-term fiscal adjustment program.
We never ceased to be in contact with the Troika, the European Commission and Commissioner Olli Rehn, with whom we have exchanged many phone calls and had long talks all these days, most recently this morning. There is no problem with our agreement with the European Commission and the Troika. This is something easy, something that has never created any problem whatsoever. But there are some things that have occurred in the meantime and have changed the landscape.

And this is not the Troika, but the attitude of some very important member-states that play a decisive role in the affairs of the Eurozone. You see, every country, every government, every parliament, every political system, every society in the Eurozone have their own problems and their own priorities: these might be a bad election result at a regional level, a disagreement between parties in a coalition government, pressure from the national media, or a problem in the financial system of any given country. Then, all that, of course, swell, become bigger problems, not just national, but European problems and problems of the Eurozone.

I remind you that in the last few days we had multiple press reports, leaks and comments in relation to the alleged existence of a plan B to address the imminent -we have heard that too many times- bankruptcy of Greece through the weekend. The German government has denied such rumors. I myself, speaking for the Greek government, had to make a strong and clear statement that these are, unfortunately, games of bad taste, which are repeated over and over again. It is an organized speculation that is not targeting just Greece, but the heart of the euro, the Eurozone as a whole.

We had had, we still have and unfortunately we will be having such phenomena, because the notorious markets move with greater ease and greater speed, they are rampant, while the states and international organizations obey rules and answer to the citizens.
That grey atmosphere exists, however, and we should react to it all together as a nation, as a society, not just the Government, not just the state, but Greece as our common home, our country.

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