Just days before Greece’s international creditors begin their latest assessment of the country’s progress on economic reforms, the Greek Prime Minister has been in Brussels to make the case for continued support form the EU. He said Greece had achieved many of its targets.
Prime Minister Samaras said: “All that talk of extra financing need has to be along the lines of last year’s agreement. Not because Greece has failed but because Greece has been successful this time around and it requires the help of our allies.”
EC leaders remain supportive, and cautiously optimistic, but insist Athens must continue with essential reforms.
Head of the European Commission,Jose Manuel Barroso, said: “Greece has been very courageous in its fiscal consolidation efforts. But in terms of structural reforms, let’s be also honest, they started sometimes late. I think we have agreed that more emphasis has to be put in structural reforms and also on speeding the privatization programme.”
Even if Brussels is optimistic that after six years of recession there is a time of growth, Greek society is at its limits. Thousands of Greek school teachers and other civil servants protest every day, demanding a repeal of government plans to axe thousands of public sector jobs.
After six years of recession, the Greek people are in no mood for any more reforms that would lead to further austerity and job cuts. The visiting troika can expect a noisy welcome in Athens.