Washington DC, July 25, 2011


"The Greek Debt Crisis: Prospects and Opportunities"
Public address of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Greece, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, at the Peterson Institute for International Economics


Ladies and gentlemen,

Greece is at the center of international attention in the last two years. This is due to its poor financial situation, coupled with the fact that the Greek crisis develops within the Eurozone, within a monetary zone with a strong currency and a very satisfactory macroeconomic and fiscal performance overall. However, while Eurozone’s average performance as far as the public debt, the budget deficit, the trade balance, the growth rates, inflation and unemployment, does not justify such a strong and lasting challenge, the controversy exists. In particular, The Eurozone has a lower fiscal deficit and a lower public debt compared to the US.

Tags: Speeches

July 19 2011

Greek FM says European debt deal is 'attainable'

by Derek Gatopoulos, Associated Press; Nicholas Paphitis, Associated Press

AP01Athens, Greece — A European debt deal is "attainable" at an emergency EU summit Thursday, Greece's finance minister said, signaling progress in talks between European governments and private bond holders in drawing up a new rescue deal for Greece.

Evangelos Venizelos also told The Associated Press in an interview late Monday that Greece remains on course to reach a primary budget surplus next year, despite missing key fiscal targets so far in 2011.

Greece is enacting major economic reforms alongside an austerity program as it grapples with a national debt topping euro340 billion ($477.5 billion) that have brought it to the brink of default.

Tags: Interviews

Athens, July 17, 2011


Deputy PM and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos made the following statement after the meeting with Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton:

left-gray-arrowklinton_venizelosI had a very interesting and substantial discussion with Mrs. Clinton on all the details, but always under a political approach. The US Government and the Secretary of State herself understand very well that the problem of the economy is political and that Greece must present a complete national story in terms of what it does and for the prospects that lie ahead.

US support is extremely important. It is important through the IMF, where the role of the United States is crucial. US support is also important through the bilateral contacts that they maintain with all Eurozone member states and they realize fully well that, if Greece produces results in tackling tax-evasion, in the collection of public revenues and in the implementation of the privatization program, the international environment will shift. Moreover, they take note of any achievements, of the smallest positive step possible towards that direction.

Tags: Statements

July 15 2011

Referring to the release of the results of the “EU-wide stress tests” of the banking system, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos made the following statement:

left-gray-arrowThe results of the EU-wide stress test of the European banking system that uses extreme theoretical scenarios and situations, is particularly favorable to the Greek banking system.

91 banks from the 27 EU member states took part in the stress tests, among which the six largest Greek banks that cover almost the entire banking sector, over 90%.

Tags: Statements

Athens, July 13 2011


The Ministry of Finance has issued the following press release:

Following a series of recent downgrades in the Eurozone, today Fitch has downgraded the Hellenic Republic debt to “CCC”.

According to the announcement by Fitch, this downgrade has occurred because the final shape of Greece’s new support programme until mid-2014, with a new loan by the Eurozone and the IMF, as well as the final form of private sector participation, have not yet been finalized.

However, according to Eurogroup’s decision on Monday, the new programme will come into effect before September 15, when the new disbursement to Greece will be made. At the same time, the exact form of private sector involvement is being finalized through intense deliberations within the guidelines of Eurogroup, taken in the presence of ECB and IMF.

Tags: StatementsPress Releases

Brussels, July 11 2011

Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos signed today, on behalf of the Hellenic Republic, the new treaty for the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

The new treaty was signed by the Finance Ministers of the eurozone member states on an intergovernmental level, before the Eurogroup Council session.

Tags: Statements

Brussels, July 11, 2011

Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos’ statement at the doorstep of the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels:

left-red-arrowI am ready to participate in a substantial and constructive discussion on PSI because we need today a very strong and clear message of stability not only in Greece but also in the Eurozone and beyond. redsq

Tags: Statements

Jul 5, 2011


Greek Banks Ready to Take Part in Rollover, Finance Chief Venizelos Says

By Nicole Itano and Maria Petrakis

Greek banks are willing to roll over their government bonds as part of a European Union rescue plan that will keep the country out of financial markets for three years, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said.

“The Greek banks are ready to participate,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Athens today. “We must respect absolutely the voluntary character of this procedure. This is very sensitive and I give a very crystal clear answer on this topic.”

EU leaders have called on investors to shoulder part of a new aid package for Greece after last year’s 110 billion-euro ($159 billion) rescue failed to stop the spread of Europe’s debt crisis. Participation by Greek banks and pensions funds is key to the success of a plan for investors to roll over as much as 30 billion euros of maturing bonds into longer-term securities.

Tags: Interviews

July 05 2011


Greece 'Definitive' Part of Euro Zone: Finance Minister

By: Catherine Boyle

Evangelos Venizelos, who was brought in as Finance Minister of Greece just two weeks ago, said Greece's part in the euro zone was "not reversible" in a first on CNBC interview Tuesday.

In his first international broadcast interview since Greece accepted terms for a second bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB), Venizelos said that the government was "very happy" with the EU agreement.

He reinforced the importance of euro zone membership to the country and said: "We are a member of the European Union and a member of the euro zone."

"This is definitive and not a reversible situation."

Tags: Interviews

Monday, July 4, 2011

Greek fiscal survival vital for euro zone - FinMin

by Dina Kyriakidou

Athens | Mon Jul 4, 2011 (Reuters) - Greece will stave off default not only for its own sake but because its survival is vital for the euro zone and the global economy, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told Reuters on Monday.

With help from its EU partners and fresh determination, the debt-ridden euro zone member will regain its fiscal sovereignty as soon as possible and aims to return to markets in the middle of 2014, as expected, the minister said.

"We will make it, because this is vital not only for Greece but for the stability of the whole euro zone and the global economy, because in Greece the stamina of the financial system is being tested," he told Reuters in the second part of an interview.

Tags: Interviews