Samaras seeks end to austerity

Samaras seeks end to austerity


By Lefteris Yallouros – Athens

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras travels to Brussels Tuesday for talks with top EU officials such as Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Parliament President Martin Schultz.

The trip is officially scheduled due to Greece’s upcoming EU Presidency in the first half of 2014. However, Samaras will take the opportunity to express his views on the economy and how hard society has been hit by austerity. The PM will explain Greece needs political stability and social peace.

Samaras has publicly said that his government will not impose fresh austerity measures, however, the premier is on a mission to convince Greece’s EU partners that this is the view the troika must also take.

Recent polls show the conservatives have fallen behind main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA, by as much as 1.5 pct and neo-Nazi Golden Dawn consistently comes in third with. The Greek Prime Minister will stress the need to support the coalition government through measures that will support much-needed growth.

On Wednesday, Samaras will meet with coalition partner Evangelos Venizelos to determine the government’s stance in upcoming talks with troika officials who are due to arrive in the Greek capital September 23rd.

Depending on how talks with Barroso, Van Rompuy and Schulz will progress, Samaras and Venizelos will now how far they can push the troika to agree to be more lenient in their demands.

The Greek government will wait for the result of the election in Germany before pressing ahead with a drive to convince the country’s lenders that Greece’s economy is in need of a “Marshall Plan” which will make growth the primary target and will end measures of austerity.