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Juncker Visits Athens, Claims Greece is 'Second Home'

Jean-Claude Juncker embraces Prokopis Pavlopoulos

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his support for Greece during a visit to Athens on Thursday, claiming it was on the road to economic recovery.
The high-level meeting saw Juncker talk with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Juncker, describing Greece as his “second home”, insisted he remained committed to the Greek people in the most difficult times.
Speaking later at a briefing beside Tsipras, Juncker also said he expected Greece to be “a normal country” by the end of the summer.
Greece is due to exit its economic bailout program in August, although disagreements persist as to how much supervision the country will be subjected to by international creditors.
Both as president of the Eurogroup and in his current role as head of the Commission, Juncker said he “did not even believe for a moment that Greece would leave the euro area”.
Pavlopoulos thanked Juncker for his continuing support for Greece.
“I want to assure you that the majority of the Greek people support Greece’s course in the European Union and acknowledge your decisive contribution for Greece to remain in Europe and the eurozone during a very critical time,” he said.
Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said that the relationship between  Tsipras and Juncker remained very close, especially in the framework of the fiscal adjustment program being implemented in Greece.
Speaking to public broadcaster ERT, Tzanakopoulos said that despite differences in the past, the European Commission has been very supportive of Greece’s effort to exit the bailout and suggested that this is one of the reasons for Juncker’s visit to Greece.

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