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Greek PM to Merkel: 'we are making sacrifices'

Published: 08 Jan 2013 12:59 GMT+01:00

Samaras, who was in Berlin to attend a business conference, told reporters ahead of talks with Merkel at her chancellery that his country was implementing crucial reforms, even as average Greeks bear the brunt of the transition.

"I would like to make clear from the start that our country is making an enormous effort, which goes hand-in-hand with great sacrifices, to get things on the right track," he said, flanked by the German leader.

"We are trying to win back credibility – credibility on the part of the peoples of Europe and on the part of the markets."

Samaras trumpeted a "series of systematic measures" to "guarantee that we do the best possible to put things right, above all to ensure liquidity, which is the life's blood of a healthy economy."

"Those are, together with investments, the two elements that are crucial for our country – a country that is truly suffering a lot, above all in the grips of unemployment, especially among young people," he said.

Merkel said she and Samaras would discuss what kind of headway Athens was making on putting its fiscal house in order, as well as challenges faced by Germany, Europe's top economy.

"I am interested in hearing about progress on the implementation of the Greek reform programme and on the other hand to report what kind of economic situation we in Germany expect because we too must do everything we can to ensure economic growth and thus job security," she said.

Merkel is a widely hated figure in Greece for championing painful budget cuts in exchange for European aid and faced sometimes violent protests during a visit to Athens in October to meet Samaras.

Last month, European Union leaders agreed to provide €49.1 billion in aid in return for more austerity measures.

Greece has already received €34.3 billion of this package and is poised to obtain another €9.2 billion at the end of this month if key fiscal reforms are carried out, followed by two more slices of €2.8 billion in February and March.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:31 January 8, 2013 by smart2012
sacrifices to pay off debt with Commerzbank, Deutsche bank, Thyssenkrupp, Siemens, Deutsche Telekom... As said in the past, german tax payers money are going in the pockets of big German companies and CEOs.. not in the pockets of the greek people. The hypocrisy of Verkel
18:55 January 8, 2013 by wxman
I'm an American, not a German, but his statement lacks the second part that is the real key. "We squandered our national funds giving outlandish retirements to our 'workers' and are now broke. Now give us more money to keep us afloat!, you heartless Nazi!"
20:09 January 8, 2013 by raandy
The Greeks if they want any credibility they need German suport . Its a catch 22 they can never recover without a debt reduction.
20:26 January 8, 2013 by smart2012
Randy, what exactly do u mean? What if Greeks would stop paying to the companies above mentioned (in my first note)? I think u r missing the point here. Germany needs Greece to pay off the bill to German banks and companies, to avoid those companies to screw up (some of them even involved in corruption cases) that is why Greece is so important (no one in Germany went crazy when Ireland went bankrupt), u wonder why? ;)

Germans, focus on priorities ie 55-60 years old people not finding jobs, low salaries (via temp agency and 400 euros jobs) and apartment costs impossible to be paid..
23:28 January 8, 2013 by jg.
@smart2012 You are missing out the part where the Greeks first borrowed loads of money from all those banks and then spent it - mostly on subsidising a lavish lifestyle. If the Greek authorities were serious about addressing their economic problems, they would be investigating all those Greeks on that list of bank accounts in tax havens, instead of trying to lock up the journalist who leaked it.
00:10 January 9, 2013 by Deutschguy
jg is right.

Read this op-ed in the NY Times by the journalist who will face trial for releasing the list of bank accounts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/opinion/greeces-rotten-oligarchy.html

One of the demands for further aid/bailouts should be a break up of media in Greece.
01:25 January 9, 2013 by www.emungus.net
GRECE-EU: TALE OF A BACKBREAKING MARCH

Unknowingly, the entry into the European Union (EU) was a long marathon for which Greece was not well prepared and well aware. It appears to be a longer march than expected. She is faltering and may lose the breath (and she is not the only one) at anytime since sacrifices are huge. Apparently, this community is not only economic : it is also cultural and some newly-member states were not completely prepared to this jump from their national system to an inter-states, international one. The move into (old )Europe was subjected to her rules; this means new member states had to cope with Europe's conditions of equilibrium and unconditional economic stability . The temptation was stronger than caution. It seems like the Greeks have not measured the distance of that long journey as member in the EU. The same way as an athlete during a long racing a handsome sunny day , or as a sprinter with little physical condition, Greece sprinted her best and as fast she could. But halfway, the hardship and tribulation of this craving marathon began to be felt, little by little Greece started lagging behind other member states. She tried to get up, continue walking but this was not so easy -it does not easy to traverse many miles after a brisk pace. Then Greece slowly was slumped to the ground. This is an illustration of the steps that Greece had crossed up to now. She can not get up without help from others the UE, which means huge sacrifices to other member states, namely Germany and France. However, the disappearance of Greece can hurt the credibility of the EU, it would spark free rein to the tensions which might disturb the political stability of the organization. And truly, Greece is making sacrifices. Reason why she needs to be supported to recover and carry on.
12:26 January 9, 2013 by raandy
smart2012 ...,exactly what I said, still on that witch hunt?
17:56 January 9, 2013 by Slim Fairview
PM Samaras visited Chancellor Merkel in Germany. I admonished Sarkozy for doing the same thing. Sarkozy lost re-election.

The Chancellor's One-Pronged approach is not a solution. It is a weapon.

You cannot cut wages, fire people, raise taxes, and claim a solution is imminent. You can only claim that the economy will be restored in 10 to 20 years, retire, wait for the economy to fix itself, then publish a memoir claiming credit for solving the problem.

The single-most read article on my blog is "Merkel's Last Stand"

The second? "The EuroCrats Trojan Plan--Destroy Greece"

I once stated that under Merkelism (An economic system based on the fear that someone, somewhere is earning a living.) Germany will be last in the line of dominoes to fall.

That China will now lift the world economy is a foregone conclusion.

For the American Market I wrote "Underestimating China Again"

Warmest regards,

Slim

Slimviews is an unfunded, unsupported, non-profit, web log by Slim Fairview
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