ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΥ
Πέμπτη, 20 Μαρτίου 2014
Ο Πρωθυπουργός Αντώνης Σαμαράς, ως Πρόεδρος του Συμβουλίου της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, συμμετείχε σήμερα στην Τριμερή Κοινωνική Σύνοδο Κορυφής, με θέμα την ενίσχυση της εμπιστοσύνης στην Ευρώπη με εστίαση στη δημιουργία θέσεων απασχόλησης, αξιοποίησης διδαγμάτων και μελλοντικών προσανατολισμών. Μετά τη λήξη της Τριμερούς Συνόδου, δόθηκε Συνέντευξη Τύπου από τον Πρόεδρο του Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής Jose Manuel Barroso, τον Πρόεδρο του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου Herman Van Rompuy και τον Πρωθυπουργό, Αντώνη Σαμαρά. Ακολουθεί η τοποθέτηση του Πρωθυπουργού:
Α. Σαμαράς: The Tripartie Summit is by now an institutionalized form of an ongoing dialogue among the social partners in Europe. I think it has served us very well for the last eleven years highlighting the social dimension of our Union. I believe that, although the worst of the crisis is over, this is not yet visible in the labor market and in the social cohesion indicators. So, today, we have to address and we have to reverse this distrust of Europeans’ citizens towards this European construction and I think that the most important economic resource that Europe has, is its human capital. This is our greatest competitive advantage. We have to invest in it, not let it depreciates through its chronic unemployment problem. And therefore today, I have to say we had the most fruitful deliberation with all social partners, with the President of the European Council, with the President of the European Commission and, I have to say, the Commission is always very fruitful in bringing up new ideas on sensitive issues like this one. So, in the wake of this Spring European Council on Industrial Competitiveness, Energy and Climate, we had those deliberations and I think, that the conclusion is, that we are all looking ahead for more and better Europe. And the only way to advance such an ambitious perspective is through growth. I am talking about sustainable growth. Leaving no one behind, creating opportunities for everyone and this would therefore mean more competitiveness, more efficiency, more innovation and more democratic accountability.
In the short run, this means supporting recovery and fighting unemployment, especially youth unemployment, which is currently in record highs all across Europe. And even more so, in my country, in Greece, as you know. So we cannot move ahead while our youth is excluded or left on the side lines. We have to reverse this trend immediately and we can only do this when we are together. I believe that also this prospect means advancing the Economic Union and especially the Banking Union. And allow me also to say that today indeed is a very important day for Europe, as since a great leap forward has taken place with the completion of the most difficult part of the European Union’s Banking, which was the SRM. And in today’s trilogies with Parliament, led by the Greek Presidency, and in close cooperation with the Chair of the Intergovernmental conference on the SRM, we reached an agreement with Parliament and I believe that this again attests to the credibility of the Union and ensures the credibility of the Union Banking Sector. And I think that this is a milestone that also serves as one of the key building blocks of the Common European Currency, the Euro. In that, it safeguards from the repetition of financial crisis, such as the one we have been going through in my country, for instance, following those immense sacrifices of the Greek people. Now reaching the time we are readily, steadily on the road to recovery and to growth.
So I would like to take this opportunity about the SRM and thank all those involved in the negotiating process and particularly the Parliament and the Commission, on reaching a very good, a very positive, a very balanced compromise on such an important file.
Now, as far as the economies concern, I think, there is no recovery without liquidity, in a sense of financial stability what is of particular importance and I think of primary, immediate priority now, is the access of SMEs to liquidity across the Union. I believe the SMES are providing the largest part for the solution of our problem which is employment and growth and we cannot achieve any of our targets without providing our SMEs all over Europe to have easier access to bank credit and without our banks been able to provide such a credit, but only on a healthy financial basis.
Lastly, may I say that we must demonstrate that Europe works both vis a vis, the long-term prospects of our integration and immediate needs of our European citizens. And we can prove that Europe works and we can most importantly prove through all these things we are talking about that Europe cares, which is even more important. In my country, in Greece we are currently getting out of the most severe crisis in the last many decades. We did it, as I said, with the sacrifices of our people. We also did it with the strong support of our partners. We did it because we believe in ourselves, because we believe in Europe, we believe in our common European future and we also made it because our partners believe in European solidarity.
Therefore, Greece is getting stronger and at the same time I believe Europe is getting stronger and then European solidarity is getting stronger, we still have a long way to go, yes. But the overall message I think and that the one of the Greek Presidency also, is to deepen the social dimension of the European family together with the 2020 European strategy.
So we have to ensure that the fresh sense of recovery will lead to a long term sustainable, smart and all inclusive growth and today we need to show and convince all Europeans that Europe works, that Europe cares and that Europe moves ahead united.
Thank you very much.
Ακολουθεί ερώτηση δημοσιογράφου
Δημοσιογράφος: Since we have the opportunity to have here the Greek Prime Minister, I would like to ask him to elaborate a little bit more on the very difficult negotiations of the Greek Government has just executed with the Troika and maybe clarify some of the parts concerning fiscal policy and the recent Troika statement.
Α. Σαμαράς: Well, seven months of continuous negotiations are indeed difficult negotiations. I think that the final result underlines the great improvement that Greece has gone through in the last twenty months, in terms of achieving its basic fiscal targets and in terms of also implementing swiping reforms, which enhance competitiveness in our economy. I have to say, we are running, after many decades, primary surpluses, ahead of the program targets. We have already accomplished, I think, the largest fiscal correction ever in the shortest possible time. We are implementing a very ambitious program in structural reforms, which I think, it is very important and which has helped us eliminate, after 48 years our Foreign Account Deficit. We are stabilizing, we are trying to stabilize, as much as we can and this to me is my primary goal, what we call a social cohesion problem of a country. Correcting mistakes, taking care of the major grievances that exist. For instance, returning through the primary surplus we’ve had, returning back to those who are mostly hurt and hit by the crisis, the most poor, returning 525 million euros, a month from now. So I think that this is basically a major success of the Greek people, who have gone through those sacrifices. It shows that they can work decisively, that they can work efficiently and I think that, at the same time, we are eliminating distortions that have been in the Greek economy for centuries. And I believe that nothing would have happen, had we not had these huge sacrifice of the Greek people and its decision to go ahead, because we had to remember always that we lost more than 25% of our GDP through this correction. And I think that, at the same time, one has to say, that this is also a major success for Europe as a whole. Because, all together we have proven that European solidarity is more than just a word. I think it’s powerful, competitive adjustment, I mean advantage for Europe. And we have proven that Europe works and that Europe cares. And I think that, you know, we have done this, in Greece, but at the same time, being the Presidency, we have done a lot of other work. I think the SRM, for those you want to know, is only the 53rd out of 54, I think, files completed, legislated files, completed in those two and a half months that we have been in the Presidency. So, it is approximately 25 files per month. That means a lot of work for everyone and I think that this includes legislation not just for SRM. Let me tell you for instance, it has to do with the cultural capitals, it has to do with the posting of workers, it has to do with the Frontex code and the terms of engagement, it has to do with alternative fuels.
So again, let me just finish by saying that I want to thank again the Parliament, the Commission and the Council, of course, for an excellent cooperation that has made all these possible.
Thank you very much.