ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΥ
Τετάρτη, 8 Ιανουαρίου 2014
Ο Πρωθυπουργός κ. Αντώνης Σαμαράς και ο Πρόεδρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής κ. Jose Manuel Barroso, μετά τις κοινές δηλώσεις τους, απάντησαν σε ερωτήσεις δημοσιογράφων:
Κυβερνητικός εκπρόσωπος: Κυρίες και κύριοι, λόγω της πίεσης χρόνου θα υπάρξουν μόνο δυο ερωτήσεις, μία από κάθε πλευρά. Ladies and gentlemen of the press due to the very tight schedule, there’ ll be only two questions, one for each side. But for the members of the international press, we have arranged an hourly meeting on Friday with the Prime Minister at the Maximos Mansion, the Prime Minister’s headquarters. So, you will have the chance to discuss with him and ask him whatever more you need to ask. Η πρώτη ερώτηση στον κ. Peter Spiegel από τους Financial Times.
Δημοσιογράφος: Thank you, sir. Peter Spiegel from the Financial Times. I have a question for both leaders, if I could. Mister Prime Minister, you mentioned in your open remarks that there is a major event that is going to occur during the Presidency, which is the EU Parliament Elections. We have seen polling here in Greece that have shown that SYRIZA is past, is going to be the biggest party coming out on the elections and that PASOK, your political partner, could do very badly. How concerned are you about potential political instability that could be caused during the Presidency and could that put at risk your return to growth and your chances to exiting the program and potentially even cause national elections here in Greece? And Mr. Barroso, if I can ask you the same question but ask you from broadly European perspective, you said in your state… union address last year that political instability you thought was the biggest risk factor to return to sustainable growth. It’ s not just Greece. We have in France, we have in the Netherlands, polls that show that anti-Euro parties are now potentially the biggest parties in the European elections. How concerned are you that more broadly in Europe that could be the kind political stability that you were worried about, that could threaten, as you said in your open remarks 2014 being a European year of growth? Thank you very much.
Αντώνης Σαμαράς: I will briefly answer my question. First of all, I want to tell you that as European elections are coming, there is stability in this government. And this is a stable government, will remain stable until the next elections, which I hope will take place in 2016. Second of all, those coming European elections, they are indeed imminent and people will have to decide on whether they want Europe or they do not want Europe. I agree they could decide that they want Europe with some Euro-skepticist approach. But I cannot agree with those people who do not want this Europe to exist. In fact, you mentioned a name, this specific gentleman you mentioned and his party are abdicated for coming tonight to the celebrations for Europe, where obviously everybody who is interested in Europe would love to come. These are ideas that are anti-European as a whole, may I say, that in more general ways are anti-western ideas, are anti-NATO, they have nothing to do with our concept of Europe. Therefore, we are not in any way particularly having to address today a problem which would be a real dilemma for Greek people in the coming elections.
I also understand and I can agree that Newton’s third law, action-reaction, creates the possibility for people to simply want to vote against in order to show their anger. Now, this is a phenomenon that has already taken place in Greece with, for instance, the Golden Dawn and other extremist parties that do not want- may I say- Democracy at all to function and work in this country. When, for instance, you are oriented to ideas and goals of Golden Dawn, you have nothing to do with Democracy. I understand that some people like to show anger for those huge sacrifices they had to go through and these austerity measures they had to go through. And I also understand that a lot of people were, and some of them are still, -and this is very important- suffocating from those extreme austerity measures. However, I have full trust to the Greek people that when they vote, they also vote for their children and they also vote for the future of the country they love. And they know that both for the country they love and for their future, the solution is more and better Europe. And this is what we are building today.
Jose Manuel Barroso: So, Peter Spiegel from the Financial Times says that 2014 is a year of elections. And it’ s true, European elections. And my question- if I may respond to a question with a question- is the following: is that a problem? Do we believe that to have European elections in 2014 is a problem? 2014 is exactly- since you are speaking about dates- one century after the beginning of First World War. When many years ago Europeans were killing themselves all over the continent. That was Europe some time ago. And even later, as you know. Today, Europe, Europeans are prepared to vote in three elections. I don’ t think it is a problem, I think is a great opportunity, first of all to have an honest debate about Europe and I once again call all the political forces to engage in a real European debate. I call more specifically on the mainstream political parties of comfort zone to abandon the idea that the European Integration can be driven by political consents, to understand European Integration as a Democratic project, not a technocratic or a beaurocratic one. And to discuss Europe, to discuss Europe with those who are against Europe and European Integration. And to make the case, for Europe. And I am sure that the pro-European forces will win next elections. I have no doubt about it. Having said this, I recognize that because of the crisis and we know that in terms of crisis and in terms of unemployment, extremists, populistic forces can rise. That’s true. They are in Europe, not only in Greece, by the way. Including, some of the more advanced countries, some of the more prosperous countries, extreme parties, some time with xenophobic discourse, not to mention racist positions that don’ t like our way of building a community that is based on values. Don’t like foreigners, because they believe foreigners are bad, they don’t share, they are not committed the same way we are to the European values, I know that. But in Democracy what can we do? We can win by rational arguments. So, it’ s possible that some of those forces here and there gain some positions, yes, but I don’t expect those forces to win. I am sure that the pro-European forces are going to win. So, I don’t see a fundamental problem of political stability in Europe. On the contrary, Europe will remain fundamentally stable along the lines of the European Integration, indeed making progress, as we just made in terms of the Banking Union some weeks ago.
Coming now to the concrete issue of national stability, yes, you are right, I’ve said and I keep it, that one of the problems we may have, in specific national contacts is political instability, as some negative impact on the economic and financial confidence. This is true and we have seen it in two or three countries, where there was political instability, I put it crisis, domestic crisis in fact, in the coalition, or in relations between governments and opposition, we have seen that that debt was bad for investments’ confidence. And it was immediately punished by the markets. This is the reason for the responsible political forces to understand that we are not fully out of the crisis and that they should- if they are responsible forces- they should show a sense of responsibility. Because the electors don’ t want their countries to suffer. I am sure that even those are critical for some of the programs, want the countries to succeed. I am sure that the majority of the Greek People want Greece to conclude successfully its program. And it will be a mistake now to waste all the efforts already made. So, I think, very sincerely, that while there are some forces that may come up in the next European elections that will not put, in fundamental risk political stability, and I hope that European Political forces will use this occasion to make the case for Europe and afterwards, after the elections, whatever the result is, they will try to draw the lessons from that elections and to see what we can do better for the future.
Δημοσιογράφος: Η ερώτηση είναι κοινή και για τους δύο: Πολλοί μέσα στην Ευρώπη μιλούν με πολύ θετικά λόγια τόσο για την ανάληψη της Ελληνικής Προεδρίας όσο και για την αντιμετώπιση της οικονομικής κρίσης από τη χώρα μας. Όμως υπάρχουν και αυτοί που στέκονται είτε με επιφύλαξη είτε μιλούν και επικριτικά για τη Χώρα μας. Τι απαντάτε σε αυτούς, κυρίως που στέκονται επικριτικά απέναντι στην Ελλάδα;
Αντώνης Σαμαράς: Ο καθένας ασφαλώς έχει το δικαίωμα και το σέβομαι, της γνώμης του. Νομίζω όμως ότι ο καλύτερος για ν’ απαντήσει είναι εκείνος ο οποίος παρακολουθεί το πιο αντικειμενικό στοιχείο που υπάρχει σήμερα και αυτό το στοιχείο είναι οι αριθμοί, ποιοι είναι οι αριθμοί. Έχουμε μια χρονιά πριν από το Πρόγραμμα, μας περίμεναν για του χρόνου, θα έχουμε από φέτος, πρωτογενές πλεόνασμα.
Και θέλω ιδιαίτερα στους ξένους συναδέλφους, τους δικούς σας δημοσιογράφους που μας κάνουν τη χαρά και την τιμή να βρίσκονται σήμερα στην Αθήνα, να τους πω ότι αυτό για μια χώρα η οποία έχει χάσει τα τελευταία τρία χρόνια το 25% του ακαθάριστου εγχώριου προϊόντος της, για μια χώρα στην οποίαν αν προσθέσετε σε αυτό το 25% φόρους και πληθωρισμό για το μέσο πολίτη της χώρας είναι σα να έχει χάσει το 38% με 40% του εισοδήματός του, του διαθέσιμου εισοδήματός του.
Όταν αυτή η χώρα κατορθώνει να έχει ένα χρόνο πριν από το πρόγραμμα πρωτογενές πλεόνασμα, καταλαβαίνετε ότι αυτός ο αριθμός νομίζω δίνει την καλύτερη απάντηση, αλλά να σας πω επίσης ότι είχαμε την ταχύτερη δημοσιονομική προσαρμογή που έχει ποτέ γίνει στον κόσμο.
Και να σας πω ότι σύμφωνα με τα στοιχεία του ΟΟΣΑ που είναι ένας κατεξοχήν αντικειμενικός διεθνής οργανισμός η Ελλάδα ήρθε πρώτη φέτος στην εφαρμογή διαρθρωτικών μεταρρυθμίσεων και νομίζω ότι ο καλύτερος καθρέφτης αυτών που λέω και ο καλύτερος κριτής είναι οι ίδιες οι αγορές.
Σήμερα αν δει κανείς που βρίσκονται τα spreads θα καταλάβει ότι έχει πραγματικά όχι απλώς αλλάξει, αλλά έχει τελείως μεταμορφωθεί η ελληνική οικονομική πραγματικότητα. Εάν κοιτάξει τα επιτόκια που πρέπει να πληρώνουμε για ελληνικά δάνεια, θα δει ότι αυτά είναι τρεις φορές χαμηλότερα ή ήταν παλιά τρεις με τέσσερις φορές υψηλότερα από αυτά που είναι σήμερα γύρω στο 75%.
Εάν κοιτάξει το ράλι που συνεχίζεται στο Ελληνικό Χρηματιστήριο, το οποίο είναι στο υψηλότερο σημείο για τους τελευταίους 35 μήνες σήμερα, αντιλαμβάνεται ότι στο σύνολό της η αγορά, δε λέω το ρήμα χειροκροτεί, αλλά λέω σίγουρα ότι η αγορά αποδέχεται αυτή την πραγματικότητα την οποίαν σας περιέγραψα, η οποία κατά την άποψή μου φωτογραφίζει μία Ελλάδα που ναι βγαίνει από την κρίση, ακόμα ο κόσμος υποφέρει, αλλά ξεκίνησε η διαδικασία για τη μείωση της ανεργίας, για τη δημιουργία επενδύσεων, για τη δημιουργία ενός συστήματος που δε θα είναι γραφειοκρατικό κι εναντίον του πολίτη, αλλά θα είναι φιλελεύθερο και υπέρ των δικαιωμάτων του πολίτη.
Κι αυτά νομίζω ότι αθροιζόμενα δίνουν την εικόνα μιας Ελλάδας η οποία μπορεί πλέον να αισιοδοξεί. Και θέλω να σας επαναλάβω ότι για μένα η αισιοδοξία αυτή ακουμπάει τους νέους ανθρώπους, εκεί είναι όλη μέρα το δικό μας το πρόβλημα, η δική μας η αγωνία, πως θα δώσουμε διέξοδο στα όνειρα αυτών των παιδιών. Γιατί σήμερα, όπως ξέρετε, η Ελλάδα κατέχει ρεκόρ στην ανεργία ιδιαίτερα των νέων, που μόλις τώρα τελευταία έπεσε κάτω από το 60%.
Αυτούς τους ανθρώπους παρακολουθούμε, γι΄ αυτούς τους ανθρώπους αγωνιζόμαστε και μέσα από την Ελληνική Προεδρία υπηρετώντας τους σκοπούς τους ευρωπαϊκούς, γιατί πιστεύουμε στην Ευρώπη, θα κοιτάξουμε ταυτόχρονα να βοηθήσουμε και την Ελλάδα όπως κι όλη την Ευρώπη να ξεπεράσει με πολύ πιο γρήγορους ρυθμούς την κρίση τη σημερινή.
Jose Manuel Barrosso: If I understood the question correctly, is about the confidence people from outside can have or not in the Greek Presidency.
I have already said that it is my third Greek Presidency and I remember well, very important contributions that Greece gave to the European project, in 1994 and 2003. I remember well meetings we had in Athens, in Thessaloniki, in Ioannina and in other places, where in fact, Greece was very important to move forward the institutional project. For instance, the project of Constitutional Treaty that afterwards made it possible the Lisbon Treaty and enlargement of European Union.
Some of us that are here today, are here today because we were able to enlarge the European Union to 27 and now to 28 members. And Thessaloniki was one of the most important moments for the enlargement of the European Union. And Greece gave a very important contribution to this. I remember well this signature of the agreement, here, not far from the Acropolis.
So, if someone believes that Greece, by some kind of quality, could not be a successful Presidency, I will say this is a statement based on prejudice. And I don’t like stereotypes or prejudices. Point.
Now, coming to the economic situation. Let me also make a point. It is true that the program in Greece was faced with more difficulties than the programs in other countries. And why? Several reasons.
First of all, the situation in Europe became at the moment of the start of the program in Greece more difficult than expected. There was, also, an environment or context factor. Second reason. There was political crisis in Greece. Don’t forget that. Coming back to the previous question. There were anticipated elections, there were debates about possible referendum, there were politics that were complicating the problems. At the moment where Greece should be focused on solving the fundamental problems of financial stability, there were political problems that were making things more difficult. Those problems did not happen in other countries.
Third, and this is very important. Some outside voices were very often speaking about Greek exit, making much more difficult efforts of the Greek people. So, there are also some responsibilities, of those outside, when this country was making such a big effort, that they were of course, in terms of market sensibility, making a problem even bigger than it was. You remember that talk about Greek exit, not only coming from some analysists or commentators, but also from some capitals. These has made the problem of Greece bigger than it should be.
Of course, at the origin of the problem, there was a real issue of debt, a very high debt, and, also, of course, some other issues related to competitiveness differential with other countries. But, there were specific reasons that explained why the program of Greece had more difficulty to start than in other countries, including the political ones. That is why I think, Greece like any other country in Europe, has great things. Countries in Europe had always in their history good moments, not so good moments. I do not like prejudices and Greece is as able as any other country to do whatever is needed. In history, we have good moments, we have bad moments. And any view on Europe, based on the idea that some are better than others is exactly the anti-European idea. We are for Europe, based on non discrimination, a Europe where we believe that all the countries have exactly the same dignity. Some are richer, some are poorer, no. In the past it was different. Some are bigger, some are smaller. But we all have the same dignity.