Greece will avoid default and "absolutely" stay inside the Euro Zone, Stavros Lambrinidis, Greek foreign minister, told CNBC's Larry Kudlow on Tuesday.
"For the past year and a half I've been waking up every morning to reports of my imminent death: default of the country," he said. "We're still here, and Europe is still here— and the euro is still a very strong currency."
This comes as the troika of the European Commission, IMF and ECB negotiating funding for the debt-ridden nation concluded a conference call Tuesday, with lead representatives set to return to Athens early next week.
"The planning is already in place— not simply for what Greece has to do now— but up to 2014," said Lambrinidis.
"Greece is not a poor country. It's a country that was poorly managed for a few years," he added.
Despite recent progress in Greek debt talks, Lambrinidis pointed out three main problems.
As part of the EU/IMF bailout plan for Greece, for instance, Greek politicians pledged to press ahead with a privatization plan to cut the country's debt. But Greece could have implemented that requirement— particularly in the telecommunications industry— faster, pointed out Lambrinidis.
In addition, Greece suffered a bigger recession than expected, and markets perceived that Europe was sometimes not "speaking with one voice," he said.
"There appeared to be too many doctors over the patient's bed."
Yet now, Lambrinidis is bullish.
"I am particularly hopeful that we're going to be out of this pain soon," he said. "The political will that we've been showing in the past weeks, in my view, is what we've been missing, and [when] we get this back, we'll be out of this tunnel."
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