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Think in a way to give Greeks a prospect, not only "MoU terms"

05 November 15 | Franz Vranitzky
Franz Vranitzky

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The European Union must also make efforts to promote growth and create prospects for the future in Greece, not just set terms that the Greeks must fulfill, former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky said in an exclusive interview with Greek news agency on Wednesday.

 

"We must think with the Greeks, for the Greeks, in order to give them a prospect for the future," Vranitzky said, noting that the EU must also provide funds for measures and programmes to boost growth in Greece.

Greece's EU partners can ask Greeks to make efforts only if they are themselves willing to really support them, said the Austrian politician, who served as Austria's chancellor from 1986 until 1997.

Vranitzky currently owns a house in Ierapetra, Crete and spends several months each year in Greece, saying his time there is a "dream vacation". He said that Europeans should work with the Greek government to mitigate the social impact on Greece's citizens and protect social cohesion in the country.

He noted that this was preventing Greece from acquiring national self-confidence and said this should be supported through policies on a European level.

According to Vranitzky, the end of a situation where Greeks were having to carry out cuts or show that they were implementing various austerity measures in exchange for financial assistance was still far away.

He noted that it was not just a question of fiscal reform but also boosting the purchasing power of the Greek population, while he called for negotiations on supporting programmes for Greece's future.

Both transport infrastructure and the energy sector - where Greece possessed abundant solar energy - were potentially interesting areas of investment, the former chancellor said.

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