Washington, DC.- PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos expressed optimism over the outcome of the Greek government’s and people’s efforts, expressing hope that when the new package of measures is finalized in a few days’ time “there will be a positive reaction internationally and support for Greece”, speaking in Washington where he is currently on a visit. PASOK leaders cut his visit short and he left on Sunday, due to Hurricane Sandy.
Speaking after the completion of a round of “interesting and substantive” contacts on Friday with Institute of International Finance (IIF) an International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials, he said the main topic of discussion had been the sustainability of the Greek debt, adding that he underlined “the governmental stability, because we must convince internationally that we have a stable government”.
On the first day of his brief visit to the US capital, Venizelos met with IIF managing director Charles Dallara and senior director for European Affairs Jeffrey Anderson, with whom he discussed the crisis in the eurozone and in Greece, the political and social situation in Greece, the country’s negotiations with its partners and the sustainability of the Greek debt.
The IIF, in a press release, said that Venizelos and Dallara held “informal” talks in Washington on Friday. “They had a cordial exchange of views on the progress Greece is making on adjustment and reform and what remains to be done, both in Greece and in Europe more generally, for the Eurozone to emerge from the sovereign debt crisis,” the IIF said.
Venizelos also met with IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton, who is stepping in for managing director Christine Lagarde who is currently away from the US, for a discussion that focused on the sustainability of the Greek debt. Venizelos briefed Lipton on the political situation in Greece and the conditions in the Greek society, which has undergone immense sacrifices, as Venizelos pointed out.
Asked by reporters on his talks in Washington, Venizelos said that the “common denominator” of his talks with key people from the IIF, IMF and US State Department and Department of the Treasury, was the sustainability of the Greek debt “because that is where everything begins”.
Whether Greece will have an integrated, definitive package that will convince both the Greek society and the markets depends on the sustainability of the debt, he explained. “This will help us solve all the other problems too. The open problem concerning the labor regime and everything else depend on it. That is why I am devoting my efforts to this critical aspect,” he added.
To another question, Venizelos said he answered their questions on the political situation in Greece, the governmental stability, “because we must convince internationally that we have a stable government”.
“I explained to them the great social problem faced by the country, society’s reaction, the problem of social cohesion, the rise of the ultra-right and pro-fascist forces in Greece. And naturally I explained to them that if we do not give an integrated response and do not present a full potential of hope and prospect we will not have the society with us, which is exceptionally crucial for overcoming the problem permanently, for making the big turn-about for an exit from the crisis,” Venizelos continued.
Asked if, after those contacts, he believes that the problem will be overcome, the PASOK leader replied: “These contacts help, I believe. And we are trying to help actively. We won’t know till the end, but I am optimistic that when we formulate this package in a few days, there will be a positive reaction internationally and support for Greece”.