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Meeting with Mr Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece, in Athens

José Manuel Barroso and Mr Samaras © EU

"The best hope for Greece of a return to growth and job creation is inside the euro area."

After the meeting with Greek Prime Minister Samaras, President Barroso was very clear: "You, in Greece, with our support, need to rebuild your country. Staying in the euro is the best chance to avoid worse hardship and difficulties - Greece can make it. Together, Greece and Europe will make it."

He said that he is aware of the extremely difficult sacrifices many Greek people are currently making. But he encouraged the Greeks to recognise that the other alternatives would be much more difficult for Greece and would affect even more the most vulnerable in Greek society.

He showed himself reassured about the commitment of the coalition government to reform and to respect and implement commitments made. "The key word here is: deliver, deliver, deliver. To maintain the trust of European and international partners, the delays must end. Words are not enough. Actions are much more important," continued the President. He underlined that the European Commission is working hard to assist Greece, for example through the Task Force for Greece.

At a more general level, President Barroso recalled the fundamental decisions taken by the euro area to safeguard stability.

He announced that the Commission is working intensively towards a banking union and that in early September it will make a legislative proposal for a single supervisory mechanism, relying on the ECB as regards the euro area. "Giving to the ECB the ultimate responsibility for supervision of banks in the euro area will decisively contribute to increase confidence and increase financial stability." He concluded by leaving no doubt that "the euro area governments and the EU institutions will do whatever is necessary to secure the financial stability of the euro area".

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