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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-06

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Wide social alliance of changes and reforms government's strength, PM tells ND congress

  • [01] Wide social alliance of changes and reforms government's strength, PM tells ND congress

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, speaking on Friday on the first day of his ruling New Democracy party's 7th Regular Congress at Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, said that his government's strength lies in the wide social alliance of changes and reforms.

    "We are the party that unites. A party that composes ideas and views for the collective, social and national interest. We are the strength of citizens who meet at the centre of politics. At the centre where courageous changes, bold reforms are determined and promoted. We are the party of the modern social centre. Of free thought and social responsibility. Of measure and moderation. Our strength is the relation of trust with citizens. It is the wide social alliance of changes and reforms. It is the strong majority of progress," the prime minister said.

    "Greece has great potential. It has a better future before it. This prospect appears clearly from what we have already achieved. Yes, pathogenies still exist. Problems still exist. We are struggling against them. We are overcoming them one by one. We can overcome everything and we shall overcome them. Only one thing the country cannot stand:resorting to polarisation, abuse, practices that poison public life, dividing confrontations. The country has paid dearly for all this with two great national dissensions," he added.

    The prime minister then focused on the situation prevailing on the international scene and on national options, saying that ND "is the party of great and absolutely vindicated national options."

    He further said that "we are continuing the strategy of changes and of reforms. It is our commitment and our imperative duty, it is a process that produces a benefit for all. It is the firm bridge between today and tomorrow. It is our non-negotiable option. An option for a more optimistic and a fairer future, for a cohesive and just society."

    Karamanlis stressed that "Greece will not return to the past, we will not turn back, we refuse the discriminations of Greeks, we reject attempts at political tension, polarisation and fanaticism," adding that "we are in the middle of a difficult and uphill path for a better Greece."

    Outlining the government's foreign policy, the prime minister said "we are pursuing the improvement and full normalisation of our relations with neighbouring Turkey on the basis of International Law and International Treaties, we are working for a solution to the issue of Cyprus, the aim is an end to occupation and the reunification of the Republic of Cyprus based on Security Council resolutions and the European acquis communautaire."

    He further stressed that the government vigorously defends national positions and that "all on the international stage must know and do know that there are issues on which we will not take even one step backwards."

    Referring in turn to the economy, Karamanlis said that "we have shaped a mixture of policy that encourages entrepreneurship, leaving for the state the controlling, regulating and distributing role that suits it."

    The prime minister referred at length to the government's economic achievements, such as the country's departure from the excessive deficit procedure, the attainment of high growth rates and the new economic and development momentum.

    "On March 7, 2004, the citizens chose a political change, they chose changes instead of stagnation, reforms instead of decline, progress instead of conservatism," he went on to say, adding that the citizens want the political leadership to turn its words into deeds and that changes and reforms are a commitment and an imperative duty.

    Karamanlis said that the government had to choose between two paths. On the one hand, the easy and downhill path leading to deadlock and, on the other, the difficult and uphill path leading to the future.

    "On the one hand lie populism, abuse and barren reaction and, on the other, seriousness, responsibility and creation. On the one hand, submission to the interests of the well-off and, on the other, the struggle for the collective benefit, the clash with corruption, the clash with problems. On the one hand, stagnation and decline and, on the other, changes and reforms," he further stressed.

    Karamanlis said the government was "never in a dilemma and had no second thought.

    "We chose the difficult path of responsibilityt and of struggle without negotiating our principles and values, without being trapped in phobias that lead to inertia," the prime minister concluded.

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