Highlights: Greek ministers' comments at WEF

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:50am EST
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DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Following are highlights of Greek ministers' comments at a meeting with media leaders during the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos on Friday.


"Greece is in a situation where we need to take very strong measures and structural changes in our country. I have myself (been) very honest about the problem we have. Recognizing the problem and making very determined efforts. We need to restore confidence... We're determined to implement the program...

Asked about EU aid, he said: "Talking about theoretical possibilities could end up becoming self-fulfilling prophecy...

"There are rules we need to abide by, which is the discipline in the EU....

"Putting our house in order is about making sure money we have goes to the right place."

Asked how Greece was going to avoid riots, given the social pressures at home, he said: "Riots we had last year were at the height of scandals in our political life. What we have restored was a sense of legitimacy. There's great support for us even from the younger generation. Whatever we do must be seen as just. It might be painful but we're all taking our share of the burden."

"We're proposing a body that follows the budget execution. That will solidify the sense of credibility in our statistics... "Politically, in meetings we've had with (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy and (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel... I found very positive support for the honesty of what the problem was but also the program."

"We live in a world of blogs and somebody saying something cuts a spin... We're not getting away from rumors. As we move ahead and implement the program the real test is how to implement the program. That will overcome rumors. Jittery markets, that will be detrimental..."   Continued...