“Our people are suffering,” said the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias to the Prime Minister of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho. “Greek people cannot take any more,” stressed the Greek President during the meeting with Coelho at the Presidential Mansion in Athens. Papoulias sent a clear message to international creditors, saying that Greek citizens cannot pay more taxes.
Coelho suggested that Greece has not been able as yet to complete the reform plan, as required by the Troika of the country’s international creditors. “Like Spain, Ireland and Portugal, I am sure that Greece will also be able to complete the most difficult part of this plan, in order to find its way to development,” he said.
Papoulias added that “The socio-economic crisis brought us much closer and requires us to formulate a common policy to deal with it,” while he did not hesitate to mention that Greece has shown more progress in certain areas, compared to Portugal and vice-versa.
Coelho said in response: “The people of Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain have made great sacrifices to overcome this economic crisis.”
“I have to say that I am surprised that after almost four years of great effort, Europe and the Eurozone particularly have not yet been able to achieve their goals of sustainable development and recovery. However, there are major structural changes to be made in Europe,” noted the Portuguese Prime Minister.
Portugal: Too soon to decide on early IMF payback
Coelho said he supports Ireland’s bid for an early payback of bailout loans to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but added that his country could only take a similar initiative if market conditions further improved.
He noted it was “rational” for Ireland to seek early repayment of its IMF loans as it could now borrow money at better rates on the bond markets, Associated Press reported.
Coelho will also meet with his Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras.
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