EU's Juncker plays down outright Greece debt writeoff

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EU's Juncker plays down outright Greece debt writeoff

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Incoming European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has played down the prospect that eurozone countries may write off part of Greece’s debt.

He said he would look at the issue after taking office in November.

In the meantime, he urged Athens to continue its programme of economic reform.

“We are not at the end of the crisis. I just want to emphasise that – we need to continue wanting to save money, every government needs this, not just the ones in the south of Europe,” said Juncker speaking in Athens.

Greece supported Juncker’s presidential bid and now has high expectations from the new Commission as political analyst Dimitris Tsidras explained.

“Greece expects more from Mr. Juncker than it did from the previous president Mr. Baroso,” said Tsidras, adding that, “it expects that serious issues, such as unemployment and social welfare, will be dealt with in a more effective manner by the Commission and its new president.”

Juncker insisted that he would not be pressured over how his portfolio will be distributed among the 28 EU member states.

Our euronews correspondent in Athens reported: “Mr Juncker is visiting Athens for a number of reasons. Amongst them, to thank the Greek prime minister for the strong support he gave for his European Commission presidency campaign, but also to encourage the Greek government to keep up the pace of economic reform.”