World Bulletin / News Desk
Greece’s newly-elected prime minister met with European Parliament president Thursday for the first time since elections in the economic-crisis hit country brought to power the anti-austerity leftist party, Syriza.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with Martin Schulz in a "friendly atmosphere" at the Maximos Mansion in Athens. Tsipras addressed Schulz as a "very good friend of Greece" and said his one-day visit to Athens marked European values to accept popular sovereignty.
The Greek premier spoke about the new era of trust between post-memorandum Greece and the EU. He informed the senior EU official that the Greek government was planning extensive reforms that would address the root of the crisis in Greece. He also stressed the need for discussions about an overall and mutually beneficial solution, which, he noted, took time.
Schultz appreciated the "constructive and open discussion" he had with at the prime minister’s office.
He said there was agreement between both sides on many issues, but added that there were other issues that required further discussions.
"I am very pleased that fighting tax evasion is one of your priorities," he said. He also expressed his satisfaction that the new government would not take unilateral actions, but would promote its position through consultation.
Schulz’s visit to Athens comes at a time when EU fears of clash with Syriza over non-conformity with the austerity measures.
Syriza gained power on the promise that it would reverse Greece’s austerity policy despite warnings from the Troika -- the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank -- to stay the course.
If Syriza implements its agenda, the move would mean an end to reforms and "austerity measures" enforced on Greece under the terms of the "bailouts," but could also risk the Troika refusing further financial aid.
The European Parliament president, however, sounded hopeful that relations between sides would not go downhill.
"There is an impression within the European Union that the new Greek government will try to follow a separate path," he said. "But I discovered today the opposite."
Schulz is also expected to meet former premiers Antonis Samaras and George Papandreou as well as former Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos during his visit.Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2015, 03:40