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Athens officially took up the EU Council Presidency, on 8 January, while being urged to continue its efforts to emerge from the crisis.

Greece has made "remarkable efforts". "There are certain clouds on the horizon, but now is not the time to slow down the pace of reform," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, present in Athens with the full College of Commissioners and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. "The Greek Presidency is an opportunity to show that the future will not be defined by the crisis, but by the lessons learnt from the crisis," he added. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, resolutely optimistic, pointed out that, "after making tremendous sacrifices, Greece is leaving the crisis behind it and is now...

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