European Commission Vice President Katainen praises Greece for exiting bailouts during Athens visit

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ATHENS, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- European Commission (EC) Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen sent a strong message of support to Greece during a visit to Athens on Tuesday.

If he wore a hat, he would take it off in honor of Greece's success to exit last summer the bailout programs after eight years, he noted among others, addressing the Greek parliament, according to Greek national news agency AMNA.

At the same time, he welcomed the actions of the Greek government to strengthen the social cohesion, while pointing out the necessity to support the reforms needed for a healthy economy, long-term growth prospects and investments.

Greece could improve however, in the areas of non-performing loans, education and restoring trust in the bank system, he added.

During his stay in the Greek capital, he also met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Development Yannis Dragasakis, Greek Parliament Speaker Nikolaos Voutsis and attended a working lunch with the leader of the main opposition New Democracy party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

In their meeting, Katainen and Voutsis voiced their shared concern over the preservation of the fundamental values and the identity of the European Union, ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, according to AMNA. Enditem

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