Wednesday

23rd Aug 2017

Samaras visit marks 'new relations' with Germany

  • Samaras believes September's Troika report will vindicate him and his government (Photo: European People's Party)

Greek leader Antonis Samaras has said talks on Friday with Angela Merkel signalled the start of new relations between Athens and Berlin but the German chancellor remained characteristically cautious.

"My visit today marks the start of new relations between our two countries. This is a new step for a new beginning," said Samaras, following talks with Merkel on how Greece is proceeding with the structural reforms, privatisation and budget cutting that is being demanded of it in return for bailout money.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The centre-right leader, currently seeking to prove to eurozone leaders that Greece has earned the right to an extension in the amount of time needed to carry out reforms, said that Athens has two deficits to reduce - a budget deficit and a credibility deficit.

"We are a proud people and we do not like living off borrowed money. We have resources and we will try to make use of them."

Merkel for her part agreed that it was a "good beginning" but added "there is a lot still to do."

She noted that "impatience" grew when Greece in the past missed many reform deadlines and that "trust" had been eroded in the eurozone over the course of the crisis.

"I've made it clear what we expect from Greece...words [must] be followed by deeds."

In return, Berlin would support Greece's attempt to reach the goals and fulfill expectations. Meanwhile, Athens had the "right" to be judged on its efforts in the forthcoming progress report by officials from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, known as the troika.

Samaras for his part said he was "certain" that the troika report will show that Greece is on the right track.

Once again he reiterated that Greece is not looking for more money but for "breathing space" and a chance of "recovery" after five years of recession.

Samaras will follow his meeting with Merkel with a visit to President Francois Hollande in Paris on Saturday (25 August).

It will mark the end of a week full of meetings concerning Greece. But despite the flurry of activity, the eurozone is in waiting mode.

The nature of the highly anticipated troika report, due late September, will determine whether Athens receives the next tranche (€33.5bn) of its bailout money and whether it is granted any flexibility in its bailout programme. Without the next payment, Samaris has said his country will not be able to pay its bills.

However, Merkel has repeatedly stressed that she wants Greece to remain a part of the single currency, a point she made once again on Friday.

Eurozone leaders to have series of Greece meetings

Eurozone leaders will this week begin a round of shuttle diplomacy focussed on debt-stricken Greece amid reports that Athens' deficit problems are greater than previously thought.

Hollande and Merkel in show of unity on Greece

The German and French leaders put on a careful display of unity on Greece on Thursday in Berlin, appearing briefly before press to urge Athens to continue reforms.

Samaras in Berlin visit amid reports of 'Grexit' working group

Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras has called on EU politicians to stop demotivating speculation about his country's exit from the eurozone but his plea comes as it emerged that German officials have set up a 'Grexit' working group.

Airbnb too 'different' to pay EU tax

US home rental firm said its “model is unique” because most of the money stays in pockets of local people, as France and Germany prepare EU tax crackdown.

EU cautious with German diesel plan

The European Commission welcomed the German carmakers' pledge to update software in diesel cars, but is waiting for details on how emissions will be reduced.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls on Serbia and Macedonia to remain calm
  2. Schulz wants US to remove nuclear weapons from Germany
  3. Ukraine and Russia to announce another ceasefire
  4. EU to investigate Monsanto-Bayer merger
  5. US will ask Nato allies to send more troops into Afghanistan
  6. Greece to be absent at event on Communism and Nazism
  7. Czechs want observer status in Eurogroup meetings
  8. Putin sends EU-blacklisted ambassador to US

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEuropean Governments Must Take Stronger Action Against Terrorism
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  3. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  4. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  6. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  9. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  11. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  12. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference