January 7, 2015

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EU Commission "takes no position" in Greek election campaign

The European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday said the European Commission "takes no position" in Greece's election campaign. On December 29, when snap elections were called for January 25, Moscovici had stressed the need for "broad support among the Greek voters and political leaders for the for the necessary growth-friendly reform process."

That "does not constitute taking a position in the Greek political debate," Moscovici said on Tuesday.
     "There is no call to vote one way or another," he told reporters. "Greeks will freely choose their next leader." 
Earlier this week, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz late expressed the confidence that Greece would remain in the Eurozone and described talks on a possible "Grexit" as speculation. He added that he has already told SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras that a unilateral moratorium of payments would trigger a similar moratorium on the part of the EU. He stressed, however, that the turmoil in the markets has never been caused by Tsipras' statements but by the standoff in Brussels and Berlin.

In an interview with German state TV ZDF, Schulz said Greece was a member of the Eurozone and "I believe it will remain a member of the Eurozone."
     "My advice is that we wait for the elections on January 25. They all act as if Tsipras has already won the elections. Even if SYRIZA is the leading party, it will have to form a coalition. I cannot see any coalition partner that would support its radical positions," he said.
     "All members of the EU and the Eurozone, regardless of which government is in power, are aware of their responsibilities. I think this applies to Mr. Tsipras as well. Of course he has an extreme rhetoric, but I must say it again: he will not be able to govern alone and for the things he promises there, I cannot see how he can get a majority in Parliament. So he will have to make compromises in Greece and compromises with the European partners." 

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