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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PASOK slams government over economy

  • [01] PASOK slams government over economy

    Main opposition PASOK on Friday launched a renewed attack on the government over the state of the economy and yet another round of scandals recently hitting the headlines, with PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou stressing that the public expected Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to provide explanations when he arrived at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) the next day.

    "What the Greek people expect to hear from the prime minister at TIF is an account of their lost income, the lost developmental prospects of the country and explanations about the things that watch stunned every night on television channels concerning his ministers, his MPs and major issues of scandal and corruption that the government has been covering up for some time," he said.

    According to Papaconstantinou, the prime minister's speech would not contain anything new but simply rehash past pledges that he had already failed to deliver, including a policy of 'zero tolerance' for corruption and graft.

    "He will declare his determination to continue reforms, meaning the selling-off of state property through untransparent procedures, he will declare war on privileged trade union groups, attempting to divide workers, he will announced a uniform pay scale for the public sector for the fifth time, a second 'Kapodistrias' about which we know nothing and a Fund Against Poverty for the second time," the spokesman said. He pointed out that the poverty fund, in particular, had made no progress whatsoever and no one had received even a single euro from it.

    Regarding attempts by Marine and Island Policy Minister George Voulgarakis to explain recent revelations in the press regarding his involvement in business activity that raised ethical questions, Papaconstantinou said the minister's attempt to convince the public was a "dismal failure".

    He stressed that the ethical issues remained unaddressed, as did the fact that the government's ministers were forgetting their mission and becoming involved in business or with finding ways to avoid paying taxes that were paid by ordinary Greek citizens. Regarding the resignation of the NAT seamen's pension fund president over his association with Voulgarakis, the spokesman said that this was "the least that should have been done".

    Finally, he called on law enforcement authorities in Thessaloniki to ensure that those wishing to demonstrate and peacefully protest against the government's policies over the weekend would be able to do so without incident.

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