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Greece aiming for loan extension until 2016, Avramopoulos says
The government's goal was to come away from the upcoming EU summit with an extension of the bailout loans until 2016, Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said on the state television channel NET on Monday. If it succeeded, the government could then begin to implement a series of programmes that would include major changes to the operation of the Greek state, he added.
"I am more optimistic. I believe that this month will be definitive. If all goes well at the Summit, a new chapter will begin and then, with the right actions, with realism and sensitivity, we must continue to give priority to society and succeed in once again putting our country on the right course," he said.
According to Avramopoulos, one of the changes that had to be made was a sweeping revision of the Constitution.
"In Greece, it is the state itself that must change, because the Greek economy, if one views this through its historic development after WWII, one sees that it was and remains a flexible economy," Avramopoulos added.
Referring to the prospect of Greece declaring an Exclusive Economic Zone, he said this would require the delineation of maritime zones.
"Cooperation with our neighbouring countries is underway. An EEZ is the inalienable right of every coastal state. Greece is making preparations and when the time comes will make the relevant announcements. Channels of cooperation have already opened and there is collaboration with Albania, with Egypt for several years now and with Cyprus, of course. Turkey has its own opinions and its own objections, it disputes whether Kastellorizo has an EEZ. We have our own position. It is clear, the relevant maps have already been drawn up, the appropriate energy ministry services are currently studying [the issue] and what we can say is that the exploitation of our national wealth is among our aims," he added.
SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY