Juncker came, spoke and will depart Athens tomorrow. It looks as if he did not meet any of Greek PM’s expectations, at least not officially. After the meeting with Antonis Samaras, Juncker praised the Greek efforts however he did not revealed much about the much expected bailout extension.
“The Greeks make a huge effort and it is not always appreciated by other members of the eurozone,” said Jean-Claude Juncker.
The head of the Eurogroup clarified that any discussion on the extension of the Greek program can only be made after Greec’s lenders’ representatives -the Troika- completes its report.
Further, he said that he ”strongly opposed” the possible exit of Greece from the Eurozone, and even advised those advocating such an option to keep a “more silent attitude “, which would help Greece, mainly on the issue of privatization.
Mr Juncker said he came to Greece as a friend, acknowledged the “courage” of both the Greek government as well as of the “many honest citizens,” but he noted that Greece experiences a crisis of confidence and for this reason priorities are fiscal consolidation and implementation of structural reforms.
Concerning a possible third aid package, Juncker said that “As regarding the future, the ball is in the hands of Greece. It’s the last chance, Greek people need to know this.”
Juncker did not exclude a haircut in Greek bonds in the hands of the European Central Bank and the central banks of the member-states, even though he said he did not talk with Samaras about the issue as it does not top the agenda of priorities.
On his part, Greek PM Samaras said: “We are confident that very soon all those inside and outside Greece that gamble on our exit from the euro, undermining our efforts and ignoring the sacrifices of the Greek people will be refuted and we will refute them with deeds not with words. ”
“Soon we will restore the credibility of the country and when this will happen, it will change the psychology of the private sector and the markets,” Antonis Samaras stressed.