Greece is now in a much better state than it was a year ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, speaking during a press conference. Once the Greek programme has been implemented, she added, "we will have relatively good prospects."
"I hope and consider that Greece will implement all that has been agreed. Greece had some successful moments, for example when an effort was made to issue some bonds. This has definitely generated some self-confidence," Merkel said. At the same time, she clarified that she was not in a position to promise anything to the Greeks, since she was not a Greek politician.
The only thing she could say, Merkel added, is that things were now much better than a year ago "when I worried a great deal more." Wishing Greece every success, the German chancellor acknowledged that life was difficult for many people in the country but expressed her conviction that Greece will benefit from the creation of more jobs and, in this way, a gradual increase in prosperity.
Regarding the euro area as a whole, the German chancellor pointed to several encouraging signs, such as that fact that all member-states - including Greece - were experiencing economic growth, while the number of jobless was down and employment was rising.
"These are all good signs. I know that the problem of youth unemployment has not been overcome but with these figures we are in a much better position than we were 2-3 years ago. And in these countries this is due to bold reforms, whether in a programme or not," Merkel added.