Posts Tagged ‘Samaras’

PM Samaras: “Two tourists for every Greek”

July 25, 2014

Many puzzle about what Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ meaningful and mysterious oracle. He said that there will be “two tourists for every Greek”. What did the Prime Minister had in mind? Some wondered whether every Greek will have to host two tourists at home. Others  corrected the sentence stressing that Samaras should have said “Two (female) tourists for every Greek (male).” One proposed that every Greek would have two tourists as souvenir of the wide world and another one got scared that he may have to come up to for the tourists’ expenses. Α third Greek asked whether we can choose among the 20 million tourists or they will be assigned to every Greek per lottery. And a fourth one said, he would order a French cook.

But my granny, as wise woman at her 95, came much closer: “We will have the tourists work for us”, she heralded.

Indeed. PM Samaras said exactly:

“The economy will go better, stability in Greece is very important when there are so many turbulence outbreaks around us, tourism today-that will reach 20 million, that is two tourists for every Greekwill give liquidity to the economy and things will get better. Therefore, I’m really optimistic and I want Greek people to be aware of this optimism. I do not say this out of the blue.”

Samaras made this weighty statement on the occasion of the anniversary of democracy restoration, July 24th 1094.

Then they all went and celebrated the anniversary of democracy restoration but the President of the Republic did not host the fine party as he did in previous years. In fact since 2013, the President of the Republic does not host a democracy restoration party, because the country is poor and we have debts. And there are many people out there who cannot buy food or pay their bills – and debts. But I honestly hope that these people have internet or tv, so they can get the message of the PM and be aware his  optimism. With or without “two tourists”.



Lobster and Crabs: Barroso hosts exquisite luncheon in honor of Samaras

December 5, 2013

Don’t be irritated by this provocative title served in an aura of flat populism and exquisite envy.  The President of European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, did not put a whole lobster on the plate in front of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

The delicate bites of lobster were methodically paired together with delicate scallops and fresh ricotta cheese inside baked  canelloni. Neither did a bunch of crabs land together with elegant crab knackers on the festive decorated table in the headquarters of European Commission.  Crab flesh was reportedly tender venture to the main course of  turbot fish in the aromatic company of truffle.

The dessert was rather modest, most likely in the sense to fit in the austerity policies of Brussels: a  light strawberry sorbet to cool the gourmet palate and fine choux dough eclairs filled with indulgent cream of passion fruit.

In the splendid atmosphere of Berleymont Building,  the elegant luncheon was served to honor the Greek and debt-ridden prime minister, who had flown to Brussels on Wednesday.

The report about the menu content was published in daily Ta Nea (via, where the columnist notes: “Among others, I have to admit that those in Berleymont have no crabs in their pockets,” meaning the EC is not stingy…

Greek PM Samaras to Meet Barroso, Van Rompuy in Brussels; Tranche Release Timetable

November 13, 2012

A day after the Eurogroup meeting, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet EU Commission President Jose Barroso and EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels today. The meetings are scheduled for after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Samaras is expected to raise the issue of the disbursement of the 31.5 billion euro bailout tranche and seek an immediate solution to the problem.

According to, Samaras will also raise the issue of the tranches due last September and upcoming November totalling 13 billion euro.

The 31.5-billion-euro tranche was due last July/August, however the whole process of  ‘structural reforms, spending cuts and bailout aid’ was delays due to parliament elections that took place in May and June.

The Eurogroup finance ministers agreed to give the “green light” for the two-year extension of the Greek fiscal program, but  important decisions on the Greek debt crisis, including the disbursement of the tranche, have been postponed for November 20th 2012.

On Monday night, after the Eurogroup meeting, Greek finance minister Yiannis Stournaras told reporters, that the disbursement of the tranche will be due after November 26th.

According to Stournaras, the timetable for the tranche release looks like that:

  • Troika report will be completed on Nov 17th
  • Eurogroup finance ministers will approved it on Nov 20th
  • EZ/EU member-states parliaments will vote for the new Greek aid

The “green light” for the tranche will be turned on on Nov 26th during a Eurogroup meeting either per teleconference or via physical presence

Eurogroup-IMF Meeting on Greece Agreed They Disagree; Next Meeting Nov 20/2012

November 13, 2012

The eurogroup meeting ended on Monday night with no green light for Greece to receive the much anticipated 31.5 billion euro bailout tranche. Euro zone finance minister and IMF officials meet to discuss the Greek debt crisis and find what Christine Lagarde described as a ‘real solution for Greece’.

Stournaras kisses Juncker

EZ finance ministers agreed to give Greece a two-year extension of the bailout program to meet fiscal tagets. This extension will make additional aid of 30 billion euro necessary. EZ, ECB and IMF officials, the Troika, could not find the solution as who will pay this financial gap.

The final decision on the disbursement of  Greek bailout tranche and the method to make the country’s debt sustainable are postponed for November 20th 2012.

Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker and European Monetary and Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn praised the Greek government for passing the latest package of fiscal and structural reforms but International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde suggested that some “chapters” remain to be settled.

“The Eurogroup welcomes efforts by Greek authorities to bring program back on track,” said Juncker. “The Eurogroup acknowledges the considerable efforts of the Greek citizens.”

“All those who openly dismiss the potential of the Greek program to return fiscal sustainability should dwell on the improvement in the country’s structural budget balance,” said Rehn. (read more ekathimerini)

Monday’s eurogroup meeting must have been one of the difficult kinds with EZ and IMF officials and Germans apparently having grave differences on certain issues.

Stournaras and Lagarde

Earlier on Monday evening, some Greek media reported of an adamant Germany insisting of pushing its own terms and conditions and thus despite resistance from the IMF. With Greece being stuck among the two of them and at risk of being crushed.

Germany reportedly was firmly against reductions of interest rates cuts for the money already paid to Greece. The IMF considers it as imperative in order to give a breath to Athens.

Beyond that, Germany went even a step further, thus challenging the Greek common sense: Berlin – or better say Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, wanted a strict supervision of the Greeks that they would carry out the reforms.

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Brussels, 12 Nov
  Greek FinMin & the IMF

Meanwhile as parts of the Troika report were published on Greek press it looks as if additional austerity measures of 6.4 billion euro will be needed for 2015-2016. This news must be a shock for Greeks who will get face to face with 13 billion euro austerity 2013-2014.

the relevant austerity bill was voted last Wednesday at the Greek Parliament with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras assuring coalition government lawmakers and the public that “these are the last austerity measures.” But maybe he meant, the last austerity measures this government will take.

Recently Samaras had also said that the country had money until November 16th, i.e. upcoming Friday, and therefore the austerity bill and the Budget 2013 should be adopted by the government in order to receive the bailout tranche.

Samaras will meet with EC President Barroso on Tuesday morning.

Will Greece go bankrupt next Friday without the bailout tranche?

EU Commissioner Olli Rehn insisted that there would be no problems on Friday, when Greece has to rollover 5 billion euros of debt. It is planning to do so by issuing T-bills and Rehn said Greek banks would be in a position to buy them even if they are cut off from the Eurosystem.

PS and I thought Greece had no money to pay wages and pensions. But it was only for 5-billion-euro rollover of debt. Phew!

Greek PM Samaras to Eurogroup: Que Sera, Sera…

November 12, 2012

Obviously adopting a fatalistic approach to the delayed bailout tranche, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, sent a message to Eurogroup partners, the EU and the IMF:

“We as Greece did what we had to do, the issue will be resolved between those who have the problem, ” Samaras told reporters after a marathon meeting he had with several ministers.

He declared confident that “we will have a very positive development in terms of the tranche release” and commented:

“I do care what money the country will receive, how the banks will irrigate the economy with liquidity, how the state will repay its outstanding debt [to private persons] and how businesses will stop from bankruptcy because the state is not honest.”

Greek June Elections 2012: Samaras Struggles to Form A Coalition Gov’t

June 18, 2012

June 17 elections winner Antonis Samaras, leader of conservative Nea Dimocratia, struggles to form a coalition government. On Monday, he held talks with SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras and PASOK’s Venizelos but so far things do not seem bright.

Tsipras turned down his offer chosing to be in the opposition of a pro-bailout government.

Venizelos made a contra proposal to Samaras, offering a ND-PASOK-DEMOCRATIC LEFT government with the participation of SYRIZA.

Furthermore, Venizelos urged Samaras to drop the mandate and directly go to the next constitutional level of forming a government: a meeting of the council of all political leaders under the auspices of the President with the goal to form a broader government. In such case, President Papoulias makes the negotiations. A government emerging from such a procedures operates with a Prime Minister, a third person of common acceptance.

Something that Samaras cannot accept. At least not now.

ND-leader had also a meeting with Panos Kammenos, a former ND-MP who leads his own party INDEPENDENT GREEKS.

Kammenos refused to join a coalition for two reasons: He doesn’t want Samaras as PM and he wants assurances the country won’t go bankrupt with the Memorandum of Understanding.

 After the meeting Kammenos said: “I asked if Samaras could promise that we would not go bankrupt while the memorandum was in effect. He couldn’t do it.” He also said , he asked for an “ecumenical government with PM a person of common acceptance” but Samaras did not accept because he wanted to the Prime Minister as leader of the party that won the elections.

Samaras is scheduled to meet with DEMOCRATIC LEFT leader Fotis Kouvelis at 8.30 tonight.

Tsipras Rejects Samaras Coalition Gov Offer, Will Turn Down Mandate to Form Gov

June 18, 2012

Alexis Tsipras, leader of left-wing SYRIZA that emerged second at the Sunday elections, rejected the offer of winner Antonis Samaras to participate in a coalition government.

After the meeting with Samaras, Tsipras told reporters that ND offered Greeks voters a different strategy than the one offered by SYRIZA. Therefore it is not possible to support a ND-led government.

 “SYRIZA will have the role of a strong opposition party that controls the government,” Tsipras declared.

At the same time he stressed, that should Samaras fail in his mandate and the President gives the mandate of government formation to Tsipras, SYRIZA will not accept it. “We will not undertake exploratory talks,” Tsipras stated.

From a clearly defined opposition role, Tsipras urged Samaras to form a government as soon as possible.

Greek Elections 2012 – Samaras: “National Salvation Gov” and “Loan Agreement Modifications”

June 18, 2012

Antonis Samaras, leader of Greek elections winner Nea Dimocratia received at Monday noon the mandate to form the new Greek government. As he did not achieve the absolute majority, he is bound to form a coalition government.

During his meeting with President Karolos Papoulias, Samaras said that his target is a “national salvation government” composed of parties with European orientation and that the loan agreement needed necessary modifications.

Samaras: ” I will immediately get at forming a national salvation government of long duration, together with the political parties that believe in the European orientation of the country, in the euro and that believe that while keeping our commitments at the same time  necessary modifications of the [MoU/austerity] programme must take place so that the Greek people escape from the torturing daily reality of unemployment and the incredible great difficulties every Greek family suffers.”

Samaras outlined further priorities of the new government such as “the social cohesion” in terms of economy and security.

After the meeting with Tsipras, Samaras said that he will ask “growth measures” from Greece’ lenders.

Samaras: “We abide by the agreement and also ask the obvious, that such policies will exist which the development will give the right to breath and to hope to millions of Greeks.”

In the context of exploratory talks to form a government, Antonis Samaras is scheduled to meet Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA) at 2 p.m., Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK) at 6 p.m. and Panos Kammenos (INDEPGREEKS) at 7 p.m. on Monday.

SYRIZA has been rejecting so far the participation in a pro-bailout government with ND-PASOK. 

Greek media consider as most likely a ND-PASOK-DEMOCRATIC LEFT government. However no appointment with DEMLEFT-leader Fotis Kouvelis has been announced yet by Samaras.  


According to Greek Constitution, Samaras has three days to conclude the exploratory talks. If he fails to form a government, he would have to return the mandate.

Then the President will hand it out to Alexis Tsipras as SYRIZA emerges second party. If he also fails to form a government within 3 days, Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK) will receive the mandate.

If the leaders of the three parties prove unsuccessful to form a government, the President calls the leaders of all parties and try to form a broader government.

Greek Elections 2012: Political Leaders on Coalition Government Options

May 6, 2012

First official results show winners and losers of Greek elections 2012. What is clear is that no party winds the absolute majority. conservative Nea Dimocratia hardly gets less than 21%, thus by counted 38% of the votes. Socialist PASOK suffers a historical low and left-wing SYRIZA emerges to second party.

A coalition government is due.

ND-leader Antonis Samaras will be assigned on Monday with the mandate to start exploratory talks for a coalition government. He ruled out to call for repetitive elections and offered to propose a 20-points plan to PASOK .

According to latest preliminary results ND and PASOK can get together 155 seats, that would build a very fragile government.

However PASOK-leader Evangelos Venizelos rejected ND offer stressing that “a bipartisan government of ND/PASOK would be neither nationally legitimate nor internationally trustworthy.” He offered a national unity government instead.

After PASOK rejected the offer, Samaras offers national salvation government with parties of a European orientation.

 SYRIZA-leader Alexis Tsipras offered a coalition government of the left parties even though they won’t get together the majority at the parliament. Then only the winner party gets a 50-seats bonus.

Panos Kammenos -Independent Greeks – said absolute NO to cooperation with ND “Not even dead I would cooperate with ND,” Kammenos said.

KKE Aleka Papariga repeated a big NO to any cooperation with SYRIZA. However this could cost her the post of the party General Secretary as some commrates wouldn’t like to miss the chance to govern.

 Fotis Kouvelis -Democratic Left – stated that the party will continue its struggle for a European orientation and release from the memorandum of Understanding. “We will not give a left alibi to anyone,” Kouvelis said.

Although extreme-right Chrysi Avgi gets more or less 21 seats, no political leader dares to make some cooperation proposals, at least not now, not officially. Nevertheless, party leader Nikos Michaloliakos said “the national resistance will continue inside and outside the parliament.”

Procedure to form a government starts on Monday afternoon, after the final results have been released.

The night will be long and the following day (Monday) even longer…

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