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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow Papandreou to "EuroFora" on Sarkozy - Merkel's statements about the issue of Greece's Economy

Papandreou to "EuroFora" on Sarkozy - Merkel's statements about the issue of Greece's Economy

Escrito por ACM
11.12.09

 imag0471_400

*Brussels/Angelo Marcopolo/- Prime Minister of Greece, Georges Papandreou, replying to "EuroFora"s questions on French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel's statements on the Economic problems of the country, stressed that he intends to struggle against deep-rooted issues, and welcomed their trust that Greece could succeed, with EU's help, to find its own ways to overcome problems steming from a long Past.

    "EuroFora"'s question to George Papandreou referred to the statements made by German Chancellor Merkel when we were in Bonn, (See "EuroFora" Newsreport :http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/merkelbonn.html), and now also by French President Sarkozy in our presence in Brussels, where they expressed their support to the first measures announced by the Prime Minister of Greece, and their trust in his promisses.   

 George Papandreou was asked by "EuroFora" to comment on the fact that important EU leaders of big EuroZone Countries, from another Political side than his, i.e. ChristianDemocrats du EPP, instead of Socialists, made such positive, in, principle, and supportive statements, , and whether he found that the crucial character of the issue pleaded in favor of a kind of national unity between all political tendencies in Greece who sincerely wished a better future for the country.


    On this occasion, "EuroFora" also asked him if he found useful, or even necessary, a kind of "concertation", at European level, together with Eurropean organisations and relevant Countries.
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    Earlier, Sarkozy, replying to a question during his final Press Conference at the conclusion of Brussels' EU Summit, observed, initially, that "it's true that Greece is in front of é major difficulty". So, "it's necessary that the Greek AUthorities prepare an Ambitious Strategy".

    He found that "the Measures anounced by the Greek" PM, "are a step in the good direction", while "waiting to prepare soon, in close cooperation with the (EU) Commission, all measures needed for a sustainable restoration of the Budgetary Statistics'" , and that "the Prime Minister assured us of his Will and Intentions".
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     The  Prime Minister of Greece replied to 2 our of 3 "EuroFora"s questions, and even reacted affirmatively to an earlier critical observation by "EuroFora", but either ommitted or forgot to reply on another (3rd) of our points :

    - "Leaders of other (EuroZone) Countries respect the will and the efforts of every Government, and of every People, to set a framework able to settle such problems. "EuroGroup" itself issued (earlier) a statement that the anounced measures are a step in the right direction, but that, of course, more is needed" We are trying to find Greek answers in a European context.

    "A real problem would be if we didn't recognize the problems, and we would have diffiiculties to convince if we simply said that we shall continue almost as usual, if we didn't have our own, concrete proposals";

    - "Our Credibility is linked to the fact that we want to tackle more Deep-rooted, more Crucial issues, and seek more Sustainable Solutions, which can advance much further on, for the amelioration of the Economy of Greece, and take more Radical measures than to simply cut today a Salary of Retirement benefits to some People : This wouldn't really help to make the Greek Economy sustainable, and wouldn't respond to the Monetay problems". In fact, there are also other problems in the Country, which are more important than that, and it's these, Harder and more Difficult problems, which play an Important role for the Future, that we must tackle". Such issues are, for me, a more Radical and more Deeply penetrating way to act, than to simply cut a salary or a retirement benefit", Papandreou's reply to "EuroFora" stressed.

    Significantly, the Prime Minister of Greece referred also explicitly to the manifold negatve consequences which were provoked to the detriment of the Country's Economy by a recurrent phenomenon of "'Clientelism", favoritism and nepotism, "Corruption and Bureaucracy", which had also anti-democratic, anti-social and counter-productive repercussions for several Decades, that "EuroFora" had, precisely denounced in our relevant Publication issued just 1 Day before Georges Papandreou reacts, as above, to our questions in a well-attended  Press Conference late after the conclusion of EU's Summit in Brussels.         (See :    )

    Had he (or someone among his assistants) read "EuroFora"s criticism, precisely, of what  he called himself the plague of "Clientelism" which had undermined EU and EuroZone member, contemporary Greece's potential ?

    Regardless of that, Papandreou at least told ys that he "remembers" well the Interviews and Publications that "EuroFora"'s main founder used to make in the Past out of his previous Political Statements, as simple former Minister for European affairs, more than a ...Decade earlier in Strasbourg, particularly when Greece had chaired the CoE (+ 1998)..

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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

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- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

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