Put egos aside, avoid Grexit: EC president

Strasbourg (France), July 7 (IANS) European Commission (EC) president Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday called on partners to put “egos” aside and return to the negotiation table to avoid a “Grexit” in light of the Greek “No” vote in Sunday’s bailout referendum, Efe news agency reported.
“We have to put our little egos, and in my case very large ego, away and we have to deal with the situation we face,” Juncker said during his speech at the European Parliament prior to the eurozone summit on the crisis in Greece.

The EC president, who last week called on Greeks to vote “Yes” in the referendum, was hopeful of an agreement with Greek authorities to prevent Athens from leaving the euro.

“I am against a Grexit, it should be clearly avoided. There are those that openly campaign for an exit of Greece from the eurozone. This is a simplistic answer and then it is a wrong answer. The EU is all about compromise,” Juncker added.

While Juncker pledged the European Union’s continued devotion to resume negotiations, he nonetheless said he was dismayed that Greece abandoned the negotiation table on June 26, when financial institutions and Athens were approaching an agreement, adding that it was a serious mistake.

The EU will see the first post-referendum steps on Tuesday, when two urgent meetings will convene with the Eurogroup and the heads of state and government from the 19 countries in the eurozone.

The first meeting will be assisted by the ministers of economy and finance from the Eurogroup, which will see the debut of newly appointed Greek Finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, who replaced the controversial Yanis Varoufakis following his resignation on Monday.

European ministers will endeavour to address new proposals that the Greek government is committed to introduce on Tuesday, although it is unclear whether Athens will present them in this first meeting or the later one with European leaders.

The euro leaders will hold a meeting with Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.


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