EU’s Juncker: Greece to be a ‘Normal Country’ by Summer’s End



European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said Greece will exit its economic bailout without more credit.

Speaking on Thursday at a briefing beside Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Juncker also said he expected Greece to be “a normal country” by the end of the summer.

Greece is due to exit its economic bailout program in August, although disagreements persist as to how much supervision the country will be subjected to by international creditors.

“We want to apply every effort to ensure that the exit of Greece from the bailout is a clean one. And that there will not be any precautionary line [of credit],” Juncker said.

In an emotional speech in the Greek parliament, Juncker also expressed his love affair with the country that he earlier called his “second home”.

Speaking briefly in Greek he said: “Long live European Greece, long live Greek Europe.”

He asked Greek lawmakers to continue efforts to modernize the country so that the sacrifices of last eight years would not be lost.

“Next August, the end of the third program will mark the beginning of a new era for your country that will regain its rights and all the obligations a sovereign state has towards the eurozone,” he said.

He also called on Ankara to release the two Greek soldiers who have been in a Turkish prison since early March and to stop its illegal activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

“The Greek soldiers in Turkey must be freed and the country must respect international law,” Juncker said.