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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek Parliament passes 2008 state budget
  • [02] PASOK leader says budget 'gov't failure'

  • [01] Greek Parliament passes 2008 state budget

    The Greek Parliament early Friday voted in favour of the New Democracy (ND) government‚s 2008 state budget with 152 votes for, 148 against and no abstentions. All 300 deputies voted. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated on Thursday night his "determination to go ahead with the necessary changes and reforms the country needs." Closing a five-day Parliamentary debate before a vote on the 2008 state budget, the prime minister said: "We have opted for the road of action, responsibility and results, and I am determined to defend and continue on this road. The changes and reforms which are necessary will be implemented." "It is the only strategy that gives solutions to misfunctions which kept the country stagnant, weak and stuck, it is the only option of policy and responsibility and I do not negotiate on it," Karamanlis emphasised. The mandate given in the September 16 general elections is a committment to citizens for speeding up reforms, the premier said, adding: "The mandate by the citizens is a committment and I am determined to strictly abide by it."

    At the same time, Prime Minister Karamanlis accused the main opposition PASOK party of "dressing up obstacles to reforms, cultivating fear vis-a-vis necessary changes and of refusing, without shame, dialogue, understanding on actions baring responsibility, even on important procedures such as the revision of the Constitution."

    "Refusal of dialogue is an extreme, consrvative and anti-popular stance," he said.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addresses Parliament during the debate on the 2008 state budget on Thursday, December 20, 2007. ANA-MPA/ALEXANDROS BELTES.

    [02] PASOK leader says budget 'gov't failure'

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou told Parliament on Thursday evening that the 2008 state budget "is a written proof of the government's failure."

    "We vote against it in Parliament today and tomorrow, together with the citizens, we will overthrow it in the social fronts, where we will build a new social deal for the reconstruction of Greece," Papandreou added while addressing the five-day debate.

    Rejecting the government's argumentation that reforms being promoted were a one-way street, the main opposition leader said that "such a thing is a myth of international conservetive forces which can not stand."

    Papandreou criticised the government policy in its entirety saying that it "led the country into an impasse."

    "There is no plan. There is no understanding among government ministers. Government services are contradictory. Policies are changing, depending on the minister. Corruption is galloping," he charged.

    Referring to his party's proposals, Papandreou said they aimed at a new development impetus through "green economy and the indepence of politics vis-a-vis black money, big interests, the Mass Media and extra-institutional interests."

    He also accused the government of lacking the necessary will in order to fight corruption.


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