Parliament chief in Greece on rare EU visit

EUobserver, 27.02.2012

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European Parliament chief Martin Schulz will address the Greek parliament on Tuesday (28 February) evening as the first senior EU politician to visit the debt-stricken country for almost a year.

Schulz is the first EU leader to go to Athens since last April, a period in which Greeks have seen their wages and pensions slashed and unemployment shoot up as the country implements a series of austerity measures in return for EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid. […]

For her part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel - whose government's views are reflected in much of austerity targets set for Greece - has not visited Athens at all since the scale of the Greek problem became apparent in 2009.

"I think it has been negative that Angela Merkel did not go to Athens since the outbreak of the crisis. I think in these kind of situations you need to show face," said Janis Emmanouilidis, an economist from the Brussels-based think tank, the European Policy Centre.

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