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Barnier: Greek Economy Still In A State Of Emergency

European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services said that Greece took the right decision to enter the bailout mechanism of European Union and International Monetary Fund.

However, Michel Barnier, stated that Greek economy is in a state of emergency, “but there are good reasons to hope for a better future”.

The Commissioner also praised Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, for his determination in implementing the measures required. “Greece’s sacrifices are not pointless”, he added.

Regarding Greek Minister of Finance, Barnier said that Giorgos Papakonstantinou has to deal with a difficult task and honors his position with the responsibility that he shows.

During his earlier meeting with Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Barnier said that the issue of creating a single European market in the defence industry came up.

In response to a question regarding Greek banks, the Commissioner said they are in healthy condition, and referred particularly to their equities. Barnier also stressed the importance of Basel III treaty, whose implementation started in 2013.

Commenting on the expansion scenarios for the European Financial Stability Facility, Barnier said that "the position of the EU is clear and there has been a decision to boost support mechanisms. The specifics of this will be decided by finance ministers". However, he also noted that the current portfolio has not been exhausted yet.

The commissioner said that Greece has a number of advantages within the EU in sectors like tourism, shipping and agriculture that it needs to exploit and capitalize on.
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