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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Country needs speedy, responsible decisions, bold solutions, PM tells election rally in Iraklio

  • [01] Country needs speedy, responsible decisions, bold solutions, PM tells election rally in Iraklio

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed an election rally in the city of Iraklio, on the island of Crete, on Monday evening and stressed that "speedy and responsible decisions are necessary, bold solutions, decisive steps."

    Karamanlis noted that the country "does not have the luxury of negative options" and added that what is needed is for the citizens to choose a specific course for Greece by deciding with a positive vote.

    General elections in the country are slated for this this Sunday.

    "What I am calling for is to join forces for the victory of a social alliance aiming at reforms and changes, nobody must be absent on Sunday, the participation of all is a duty in our country, it is a duty for the future of our children, it is a duty for democracy," the prime minister said.

    He further said that Greek women and men "have a memory, judgement and political maturity, they demand clear positions, they demand steady and secure steps, they demand that we continue with greater boldness, with greater speed."

    "This is the commitment that I am assuming today, a firm commitment," the prime minister emphasised adding "the course towards the future will not stop and the demand of our times is clear, it is the time for us to proceed with even greater speed, with greater determination."

    Karamanlis criticised past governments, saying that he received great and accumulated problems, "a state lacking elementary infrastructures, lacking a land register, lacking town planning, a state of bureaucracy, untransparency, deficits and extravagance, having a huge public debt whose interest alone costs 10 billion euros a year, a deficit that was six times greater than what the previous government had claimed, a high cost of living, the lack of healthy competition and unemployment exceeding 11 percent."

    Focusing on his party's governance since March 2004, the prime minister said "we curbed extravagance and we enacted new growth tools, lower tax rates, a new development law, greater funding percentages from European Union programmes, the deficit was reduced below the limit set by the Stability Pact, growth is moving along with the highest of rates, compared to the eurozone's average, the tourist influx is increasing, exports are increasing spectacularly and unemployment has dropped from 11.3 percent to 7.7 percent."

    Referring in turn to his priorities for a next four-year term, Karamanlis stressed that "we are placing priority on supporting our fellow countrymen who experienced destruction and to the reconstruction of the prefectures that were struck by the wildfires, arrangements we have tabled in Parliment are being ratified immediately, the inheritance and parental grants tax is being abolished and it is being replaced by a unified duty equal to 1 percent of the value of the real estate, we are placing priority on the protection of the environment, on the enactment of town planning, on the creation of a land register, we are placing priority on resolving the social security issue, on changes to achieve a state that will be close to the citizen and we are proceeding with the restructuring of the administrative fabric of the country."

    Summing up his address, Karamanlis said that "I will speak to you with sincerity as always. I am not saying that all the problems have been solved, that there were no weakness, I never concealed the difficulties, I never attempted to beautify situations, I say things as they are. I believe that the truth is the safest and strongest foundation for trust between us, many and important things have taken place over the 3.5 years. Many things have yet to be done, however, many things have yet to be changed. We are in the middle of an uphill path and what the country needs is a government that will be able to take speedy decisions."


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