Commission burns Carvounis

European Union, 2017

The Head of the European Commission Representation in Athens, Panayiotis Carvounis.

The initiatives of the Head of the EU Representation in Athens were his own, says Berlaymont


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The Head of the European Commission Representation in Athens, Panayiotis Carvounis, has made some rather unpleasant waves in Athens. During an interview for the “Evening Report,” for Action 24 channel, considered one top political TV programmes in Greece, Carvounis talked about the most memorable moment of his career:

“The night of the infamous Greek referendum,” he explained, “the message I received was crystal clear. And the message had to be delivered to [the top level of government]. The message was that [after the negative referendum result] a double European Council would be convened, with the aim of the dual exit of Greece [from the Euro currency and from the European Union] … Because you cannot leave the Euro without leaving the EU. I transmitted this message to the government.”

The statement caused an uproar in the Greek capital, as Carvounis’ message was seen by the government as blackmail: ‘either you ignore the referendum result (which indeed the government did), or you are out of the EU currency and the union’.

Carvounis said that it was the President of Greece who was most aware of the gravity of the situation. He said that he transmitted the message to the Maximos Mansion, but did not specify whether it was Alexis Tsipras or another mention of the leadership.

Asked to respond to the comments of Carvounis, who made specific reference to a communication received from Brussels with unquestionably specific instructions, a European Commission spokesperson was clear:

“There were no instructions given by the Commission to the Head of our Representation to undertake specific demarches at the time and on the issues mentioned. Any relevant activity was based on his own initiative in the framework of his duties. The role of the Commission and of President Juncker in keeping Greece into the Eurozone whilst actively supporting with positive measures its return to growth, is universally known”.

Carvounis’ term in Athens is set to end at the end of November 2017 unless…

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