The EU Wednesday voiced concern over the social situation in Greece as demonstrators clashed with police in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens today .
“The social situation in Greece is at the heart of our concerns,” EU spokesperson for economic affairs Amadeu Altafaj Tardio told a news conference.
“Our efforts to support the Greek people is to help Greece put its financial house in order . We are helping Greece through this crisis without events happening that could have even more serious consequences,” he said.
The spokesman noted that the Greek economic programme is dealing with matters of structural reforms so that the Greek economy which has lived beyond its means for many years and is plagued with corruption can recover.
“People of Greece needs reforms and jobs,” he stressed.
Thousands of Greek demonstrators in Athens are protesting against more austerity matters expected to be announced today by the government of George Papandreou.
Amadeu said EU finance ministers are examining he payment of next instalment of 12 .7 billion euro from the EU to Greece which received a 110 billion euro bailout from the EU and IMF last year.
EU finance ministers are expected to approve the payment of the next tranche to Greece during their meeting in Luxembourg on Sunday and Monday, he said. Analysts say the EU and IMF are demanding the implementation of more austerity measures in Greece in return for the release of the next instalment .
Amadeu declined to comment on the result of a special meeting of EU financne ministers in Brussels Tuesday night saying it was a preparatory meeting for the formal meeting to be held on Sunday and Monday .
“These issues are covered by confidentiality and the Commission will not participate in any discussion through the media. This is too serious to speculate in the public, ” he stressed.
European media reports said the finance ministers yesterday failed to agree on the role of private creditors in a second Greek bailout package.
Amadeu also declined to comment on the rating by Standard Poor’s which on Monday gave Greece the lowest credit rating for any country.
“The Commission does not make any comments on ratings, ” he added.