Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras defended on Wednesday Greece’s turn to lead the European Union, as the country goes through one of the biggest crisis in decades.
Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Samaras said that Greece has delivered on its commitments to implement fiscal reforms and that the country is slowly coming out of the crisis.
“I would like to insist on one point. Greece honoured its commitments and its signature. We delivered.
I am addressing you as the Prime Minister of Greece, of a country that was put to the test more than any other by the crisis. My country has suffered those last years more than probably than any member of the EU has ever suffer.” said Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Samaras also presented Athen’s priorities for the next 6 months, which include boosting growth and jobs, immigration policy and banking union.
But MEPs expressed fierce disappointment in the banking union deal reached last year, and warned Samaras that the Parliament will not accept the current proposal.
“The bank union proposals are not acceptable for us, and not even acceptable for the majority of the EU countries, but finally we’ve found an agreement. The agreement will not fly. Because this Parliament, and we see the strong words from all Groups, his Parliament will not accept the banking union as ti is. We need radical changes on this banking union.(…) This is not serious, it is not possible, and therefore you see the real strong determination of this House : we need radical changes and I ask the Greek presidency to be helpful because we can only do it with you and the Commission to be helpful.” said Austrian Socialist MEP Hannes Swoboda.
Greece’s presidency budget is €50 million, one of the lowest budgets in history. It is the 5th time that Greece assumes the EU rotating presidency since its accession in 1981.