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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK leader slams gov't reaction to fires

  • [01] PASOK leader slams gov't reaction to fires

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Tuesday accused the government of "confusion" and a "communications reaction" in the face of the devastating fires that have ravaged Greece, during his address to PASOK's Parliamentary Council. Papandreou announced that, in addition to the immediate proposals that PASOK will make for compensation to the victims of the fires, it would also draw up a special developmental plan for each region and that this would be a binding pledge if it became a government.

    "We pledge not only to fully compensate for the damages but to apply a special developmental plan that will give a new air of growth to these areas," he said.

    PASOK's leader questioned the sincerity of the government's apology to the victims of the fires and said its past track record on handing out compensation was poor, as proved by the case of fire-ravaged Halkidiki, in spite of personal assurances to the opposite by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Accusing the prime minister of being "absent" during a time of difficulty, he also claimed the existence of a "political gap" in civil protection planning, that the fire brigade was riddled by party politics and lacked meritocracy and that fire-fighting services were underfunded.

    Referring to his proposal for a meeting of the political party leaders chaired by President Karolos Papoulias, which was rejected by the government, Papandreou said that such a meeting would have helped inspire a sense of security, self-confidence and development in the Greek people. Agreement on the eight points of the proposal, meanwhile, would send a strong message to those hoping to gain as a result of the fires as well as positive messages to society and those fighting fires.

    Regarding the Vodafone phone-tapping issue, PASOK's leader that it was a "matter of principle and democracy" and that PASOK would not allow a cover-up but would ensure that the truth came to light.

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