May 2, 2010 / 7:52 AM / 10 years ago

HIGHLIGHTS-Greek PM says reached deal with EU, IMF

ATHENS, May 2 (Reuters) - Greece has reached a multi-billion euro deal with the EU and the IMF, Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Sunday. Here are highlights from his comments during a televised cabinet meeting:

DEAL

“We have built the support mechanism out of nothing. A few days ago we asked for its activation and today we ratify the agreement. It is an unprecedented support package for an unprecedented effort by the Greek people.”

PUTTING OUT THE FIRE

“The problem has grown bigger, this fire is threatening to spread and hurt Greece further and the other euro zone countries and economies.

“The cost of putting it out is expected to be huge, and the burden that Greeks will shoulder is even bigger.”

“The need to resort to the deal means additional and more immediate efforts and sacrifices.”

DIFFICULT YEARS

“I want to tell Greeks very honestly that we have a big trial ahead of us ... The years ahead are difficult but we will make it.”

SACRIFICES

“Economic reality forces us to take very tough decisions.”

“Today’s sacrifices are tough but necessary. If we do not make these sacrifices Greece will go bankrupt. These sacrifices will give us breathing space and the time we need to make great changes.”

“In the very narrow negotiating framework we found ourselves in, it is positive that wage earners in the private sector are not affected. We had to take measures which affect wage earners and pensioners in the public sector. This is because the great sick man is the public sector.”

BORROWING NEEDS

“Without credibility, we would not have found support or understanding anywhere ... the only possible help would have been 10 or 20 billion euros we would have got from the IMF, at the moment when the state we took over had, and still has, borrowing needs of 60 billion euros a year.”

AVOID BANKRUPTCY

“Our national red line is to avoid bankruptcy. I have done everything and I will continue to do everything so that the country does not go bankrupt.”

“No one could have imagined the size of the debt that the previous government left behind it.”

NOT JUST OUR PROBLEM

“We had marathon negotiations and we managed to ensure that the international community paid attention to the Greek people’s problems and was convinced that it is not just our problem, it is also a problem of how markets work and of how to protect the euro.”

Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Harry Papachristou; Compiled by Ingrid Melander

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