ATHENS – European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker – the former Eurozone chief – is due here Aug. 4 for talks with government officials and to tell Greeks there’s hope for a recovery.
“My priority… is jobs, growth and investment and I am pleased to be going to Greece to discuss these priorities,” he said in a statement his office released. He didn’t say why those weren’t his priorities when he led the Eurozone from 2005-13.
“I want to send a message of hope and optimism by recognizing the efforts of the Greek people and the Greek government in reforming their country,” he said. While head of the Eurozone, however, he supported harsh austerity measures that worsened the country’s economic crisis, and created record unemployment and deep poverty, problems he said he now wants to solve.
Juncker is due to meet Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at noon before they are expected to meet with reporters to go over what they talked about. That could include what position in the European Commission will go to Greece’s nominee, Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos from Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives.