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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-09-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Need for a gov't that believes in and can implement reforms, PM tells Athens rally
  • [02] PASOK leader addresses Patra rally

  • [01] Need for a gov't that believes in and can implement reforms, PM tells Athens rally

    Prime Minister and New Democracy (ND) party president Costas Karamanlis reiterated on Friday evening his call for a strong government able to take bold decisions for reforms, emphasising that "the government which will emerge from the September 16 elections must believe in the need of changes and reforms, must want and know how to implement them. I commit myself, if Greeks put their their confidence in me, to form such a government."

    Addressing a central Athens election rally, the prime minister asked for the participation of all citizens in the elections, saying that no one should be absent from "Sunday's feast of Democracy."

    "The participation of all is a duty towards Greece, it is a duty to our children's future, it is a duty towards Democracy, so that all together can lead the country forward."

    Insisting on holding the elections in a calm climate, the prime minister said that "we go forward with confidence, with moderation, with a smile, saying no to misery, no to shouts and populism. We table to the citizens' judgement, the truth of our achievements, the truth of our programme."

    "Greece changes. Greece handles effectively the problems which the past left behind. It lays firm foundations for the future. Citizens know very well the accumulated and difficult problems we were called upon to resolve in March 2004: A public debt, which for its interests alone, costs 10 billion euros per year; a public deficit of 8 per cent of the GDP, which threatened the economy's foundations; a state which was sinking in extravagance, deficits, bureaucracy, non-transparency; unemployment, which had reached 11.3 per cent," the prime minister said.

    Enumerating his goverment's achievements, Karamanlis referred to the "drastic decrease of the deficit, the high rates of growth, the country's exit from the excessive deficit surveillance process, the fall in unemployment from 11.3 per cent to 7.7 per cent."

    Outlining the government's priorities, the premier said what comes first is safeguarding and giving a new impetus to the economic and development momentum.

    According to the government's strategy, he said, 80 per cent of the national strategic framework funds are already being directed and will continue to flow to the Greek regions, the "greatest public works projects programme has begun and is going on at a fast pace, the national railway network is being modernized, works for the extension of the Athens metro are continuing, the national town planning and the special frameworks for the sector of tourism are ready."

    On the protection of the environment, Karamanlis referred to the national plan for the use of land, the completion of the national land registry, the effective control of emissions, the recycling programmes, milder and cleaner energy resources.

    "Our priority is the society of knowledge," the prime minister underlined, adding that reforms for the qualitative upgrading of the country's education system on all levels will continue unabated, while "revising Article 16 of the Constitution (which prohibits the establishment of private universities) remains a top priority."

    On social policy issues, Karamanlis said that what his government had inherited from past governments have not allowed him to do all he wanted to do for the economically weaker sections of the population, adding that the restructuring plan for the regions hit by last month's catastrophic wildfires in the country, was his "personal committment".

    "A strong economy, dynamic growth, an effective and responsible state, a humane society of solidarity, are the objectifs for the changes which continue as from September 17," the prime minister added.

    "Now is the time when you decide, you choose. It is the time when you decide for security against insecurity, for responsibility against populism, for deep changes against paralysis and impass. I have absolute confidence in the citizens' maturity who, in front of this particular crossroad for the country, will make a positive choice in order for the country to advance," the prime minisre concluded.

    [02] PASOK leader addresses Patra rally

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou addressed a rally in the city of Patra, Peloponnese, on Friday evening, the last rally ahead of Sunday's general elections in the country, saying that his government will be a "government of confidence, hope, prospects, social justice and the redistribution of wealth."

    Papandreou said "we have the great rendez-vous with history on September 16. We will vote for confidence for every household and every family, for hope for our children, for the youth of our country and for prospects for Greece."

    The PASOK leader appeared confident that PASOK will win the elections which, as he said, means that "we will be able to create a state for the citizens, an economy for all and a just society with equality and prosperity for every citizen."

    Referring to the issue of wildfire-stricken regions in the country, he said that he will annul any decision taken by the current government that cedes public land to private individuals.

    Papandreou reiterated what he called crucial dilemmas in Sunday's elections, terming them a "referendum with all the meaning of the word," saying "the present and future of the country will be at stake".

    The main opposition party leader appealed once again to "those who are wavering between PASOK and the parties of the Left," telling them "clearly and with his hand on his heart" that "no democrat, no progressive, no socialist, no Leftist will cede the fortune of his country to the Right."

    Papandreou criticised the ruling New Democracy party for all that it has done until now and for the "secret agenda that it is holding in store for until after the elections" and stressed that the Greek people "will not give their tolerance to the prime minister who is speaking of dangers with false dilemmas, demagoguery and who is dividing the Greeks to conceal his own responsibilities."

    He further said that "the Greek people will not give their tolerance to the prime minister of interests and of the secret agenda, of scandals and of cover-ups, to the prime minister who won the elections with deceitful promises and who ruled with the fraud concerning the audit, the prime minister who resorted to elections to avoid the revelations on the big scandal of the bonds and to give a blank cheque for the budget of his secret agenda."

    Papandreou added that "we want a different day-to-day life for all the Greek men and Greek women, without the nightmare of unemployment, without the high cost of living and the loans that choke the family budget, without parents having to shed blood financially for the education of their children, without the stress of some health condition, without the anxiety of the salary that runs out in the third week of each month."

    "One path exists for the Right to leave government:We vote for PASOK on Sunday," the PASOK leader concluded.


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