President Pavlopoulos: Discussion on Greek debt should start soon

“Greece will fully meet its obligations, but our partners must also fulfill their own obligations”, he stressed

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos met with German Chancellor Angela Merke during his visit to Berlin.

Their discussion was focused on the Greek program review and the debate on Greek debt, as well as the refugee issue.

Mr. Pavlopoulos reiterated that Greece will fully respect fully its commitments concerning its economic adjustment program and the refugee crisis, but Greece’s partners must keep also their promise and discuss debt relief.

“Greece will fully meet its obligations and our partners must also fulfill their own obligations. Following the [program] review, which should be finished as soon as possible to avoid a problem with the seemingly positive growth prospects of the Greek economy, it is necessary to immediately start talks on the Greek debt – not for a haircut, as it is not possible by European law, but other methods, which will lead to relief and have been accepted by our partners,” he said.

Regarding the refugee crisis, Mr. Pavlopoulos described it as an “existential matter” of Europe. “All the peoples of Europe have to fulfill their debt towards genuine refugees without phobias and of course will have to work to end the war in Syria, which is the root of this evil,” he noted.

Concerning the guarding of EU’s external borders, he recognized the need for collaboration with EU countries and Frontex, but ruled out joint Greek and Turkish patrols, while regarding Turkey, Pavlopoulos said that the country must fullfil its commitment to control the flow of refugees and especially economic migrants who leave from Turkey, “often with the cooperation of the Turkish authorities”. He also noted the need to reactivate the readmission agreements.

He also talked about the threat of terrorism and stressed that Europe must be ruthless with terrorists who commit war crimes and must not show any tolerance. He also urged people to distinguish between terrorists and refugees and hailed Merkel’s role in the refugee crisis.