Working visit of Jean-Claude Juncker in Athens

The Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has conducted a working visit to Greece from 10 to 11 of June 2013.

In his speech on «The euro: progress and prospects» Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his confidence about the future of the euro and Greece in the euro zone: «today the euro is the only real strength of Europe in the world».

At the second day of his visit to Greece, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker was awarded by the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias the highest distinction of the Greek state — the Grand Cross of the Savior.

Earlier the head of the Luxembourg government had long talks with Prime Minister Samaras and the Greek Finance Minister Stournaras.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Mr. Samaras said that Jean-Claude Juncker was «the first European head of government who publicly supported Greece in difficult times». The Greek Prime Minister has stressed that «Jean-Claude Juncker is no longer a stranger to us; he is now part of our people». Although the two leaders underlined that the Greek crisis is far from its end, however, they found that the first signs of recovery have been felt, especially in the consolidation of public finances. Juncker and Samaras also observed signs that a return to growth might take place in Greece in 2014. Jean-Claude Juncker has called on the European Commission to assist Greece in regard with «the implementation of specific programs to fight against youth unemployment».