Francois Hollande piles pressure on Greek PM Samaras

 

Francois Hollande: "Greece must demonstrate once again that its actions are credible"

French President Francois Hollande has urged Greece to prove it can pass reforms demanded by international creditors, after talks with Greek leader Antonis Samaras.

Mr Samaras has been appealing for more time to introduce the reforms.

But Mr Hollande said no further decision could be taken until European ministers consider a major report on Greece's finances, due in September.

Donors including the EU insist Greece has to make major spending cuts.

These are needed if Greece is to secure the next tranche of its bailout.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says the Greek government is under pressure to win concessions from Europe to placate the tired nation and lessen the likelihood of a destabilising period of social unrest.

Mr Samaras is seeking an extension of up to two years for the necessary reforms, in order to provide Greece with the growth needed to improve its public finances.

In talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week, he was told that the decision would depend on a report from the so-called troika - the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission.

Mr Hollande also said Europe needed to consider the report before it could make any further decisions on Greece.

He said decisions on whether to grant Greece more time should be taken when European finance ministers meet in early October.

Greece discussions timetable

  • 22 August: Greek PM Antonis Samaras met Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker
  • 23 August: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande met to discuss Greece
  • 24 August: Chancellor Merkel and PM Samaras meet
  • 25 August: President Hollande and PM Samaras meet
  • Early September: Troika staff go back to Greece
  • 14-15 September: Gathering of European finance ministers in Cyprus
  • Troika's review of progress to be published by the end of September
  • 8-9 October: Finance ministers attend two days of meetings in Luxembourg

"We've been facing this question for two and a half years, there's no time to lose, there are commitments to reaffirm on both sides, decisions to take, and the sooner the better," he said.

Greece's continued access to the bailout packages depends on a favourable report from the troika.

Athens is trying to finalise a package of 11.5bn euros ($14.4bn; £9.1bn) of spending cuts over the next two years.

It is also being asked to put in place economic and structural reforms, including changes to the labour market and a renewed privatisation drive.

The measures are needed to qualify for the next 33.5bn-euro instalment of its second 130bn-euro bailout.

Greece needs the funds to make repayments on its debt burden. A default could result in the country leaving the euro.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 151.

    Listening to all the "EXPERTS" commenting on Greece makes me laugh, its not our problem, jobseekers are presently spending millions going through thr motions of getting disabled people back to work in none existant jobs, while thousands of unemployed school leavers are kicking their heels at home, lets get real people.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 150.

    There really isn't any choice no matter how hard we debate it.

    If the Greek government turn the screw any harder their politicians will be facing a lynch mob followed by an army led coup.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 149.

    France is astonishingly good at looking after herself. The Greek government are struggling to cope with a pending disaster, and self interest isn't always the best course to follow It may yet lead to the demise of the Euro. Greeks are responsible for the mess, but the whole area needs to pull together just to save itself. How a socialist government fails to recognise this is a inexplicable.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 148.

    @132
    The massively subsidized, union plagued coal, shipbuilding, car, steel industries were uncompetitive

    All countries have unions. The most prosperous countries work with the unions, not against them, Germany being a good example.
    We IMPORT coal, gas, cars, ships, steel etc.. While keeping our workforce on the dole. Our infrastructure, assets and business is owned abroad. Well done Maggie.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 147.

    France and Germany still refuse to accept their prime responsibility for the disastrous Euro project; They knew Greece was a bad risk and their lack of humility and compassion means Europe has even less reason to trust them in future.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 146.

    This seems hypocritical from Hollande considering his bold pre-election speeches about how austerity doesn't work. What's changed His tune?

    What these people don't seem to realise is the harm this is doing to Europe's reputation on the global stage.

    The sensible thing, given the massive problems in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Greece (ALL Eurozone members), would be to abandon the Euro.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 145.

    This story....

    Look, the Greek government, which is meant to represent its people, is totally under the influence of what other political figures say.

    It's a horrible state of affairs but that is the price of Euro membership....from which there is no get out clause.

    The Greeks are dancing to others tunes.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 144.

    People should realize that the Greeks' agony is a very real social time bomb. Wise up, austerity makes the books look better, but kills growth which is needed to be able to generate money, to pay back those loans, and rebuild an economy. Constant critics of "next in line" Spain should also read this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16290598 which shows a few truths about who is guilty of what.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 143.

    Re132.rapunzel My 70's student union was full of Maoists, Trotskyists, Leninists; all stupid to the core.
    ++++

    Not much different from outlook of not only students but also such 'professors' as Angela Davis.

    With Milton Friedman being an economic sicko, while Ronald Reagan but one notch above Hitler.

    Btw. Thatcher is still one of the most respected modern foreign leaders in the US.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 142.

    @136 rememberd.
    What do you mean "..look forward to.."? I thought that was happening here already!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 141.

    83. Roy Porter "I am a Pensioner and I can remember when the Basic Mortgage Rate was 17%.. We survived and we didn't moan about it."

    Before the price of houses had been massively overinflated by that same easy access to cheap loans you mention? If the house prices had fallen like they should have done I could see your point, but we now have neither easy access to loans nor realistic house prices.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 140.

    132

    Er, we are bankrupt now. We are printing money.

    The difference now is we have nothing left to sell.

    Even Boris is crying out for investment in infrastructure.

    She was an inept ego maniac.

    Who gives a monkey's what a bunch of student union prats thinks, btw ? Their life experience is ?

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 139.

    35.Lagoya
    1 Hour ago
    This is news? Yawn....
    ++
    Don't worry go back ot the Sun, or E News - they've got a Royal naked!!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 138.

    If they are fudging the issue by kicking the can down the road,could they put the fudge in the can and sell it,thus saving themselves in a confectionery- related way?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 137.

    How many more final straws that broke the camels back do we need?

    In two years time, a different Greek government, a different lame excuse, more money.

    Kick them out of the Euro now. There will be turmoil in the markets for a short while, then the certainty we need

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 136.

    As Britain's 'government' have also chosen the 'austerity measures' path that Greece has proved doesn't work (if they are working then why are more needed and the debt pile just keeps growing) can we in the UK also look forward to relying on food handouts, OAP's sleeping rough in the streets, schools and hospitals closing etc... You know, the parts the 'austerity measures' supporters ignore?

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 135.

    Hard facts:I wasnt asked if I wanted to join the euro, nor did I cook the books and turn a blind eye to have them accepted, knew nothing of the huge Seimens and submarine scandals, didnt line my pockets. I worked hard, paid taxes, just like you do..So why do people like me have to pay the greedy banks and pet politiians? Now I get 50% wages (private) and taxes X10 !! I just dont have the money...

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 134.

    Some anagrams

    Filthy Rich International Creditors

    and their

    horrifically intrenched attritions


    and as for


    Pointless European debt

    a bored inept plot ensues

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 133.

    @129 glasshouse
    I'm no fan of QE, but I bet Greece wishes it could effect a QE program. QE is a stable way of devaluation, and since Euro and USD are also devaluing, the effect is not so pronounced. However, it is not a solution to our ecconomic problems, merely a temporary fudge.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 132.

    @114 Surely Not
    "Thatcher was such a disaster for this country"

    The UK would have gone bankrupt in the 80s without Thatcher. The massively subsidized, union plagued coal, shipbuilding, car, steel industries were uncompetitive. They got trashed & the UK stepped back from rule by the shop steward class. My 70's student union was full of Maoists, Trotskyists, Leninists; all stupid to the core.

 

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