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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: No to collaboration with ND
  • [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Papandreou: No to collaboration with ND

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou rejected press speculation of collaboration with the ruling New Democracy (ND) party in the event that the next general elections fail to produce a majority government, in a newspaper interview appearing on Sunday.

    In an interview with the Sunday edition of Eleftheros Typos daily, Papandreou denied the rumors of a prospective governmental collaboration with ND, and reiterated his position endorsing a Center-Left collaboration.

    He said it was PASOK which would be called on again to save the Greek economy from collapse, with a new plan for economic growth that would set different priorities, and launched a scathing attack on the government, warning that ND's political time "has run out".

    PASOK, he said, was "looking ahead, not backwards".

    "We want the Greek citizen to feel the security and certainty he deserves for his future. This means a social state that guarantees services in education, health and welfare deserving of a modern European country. A state that opens up opportunities and prospects, that participates, decentralized, in development, at the side of the citizen, always with transparency and social accountability,' Papandreou said.

    He said that, without transparency and accountability, the "state today is a source of wasteful spending and corruption", adding that the state requires "a taxation system that distributes the tax burden fairly and enhances redistribution", and "a competitive economy that produces wealth, investing in our comparative advantages such as the environment and our history, but also creating new means through investment in education".

    "Above all, we need to restore self-confidence and optimism" to the people, Papandreou continued.

    Asked whether his assessment that the Karamanlis government's political time has expired was a "heavy word", Papandreou noted that just one year ago ND had achieved a "stillbirth' victory, and had failed to comprehend that the Greek people gave it a marginal majority, Ťand that's why it did not change anything in its policy towards the better but, conversely brazenly continued the same failed recipe".

    "Today, the impasses for the country as a whole but also for the average family are insurmountable. The citizens no longer hope in anything from an ND government. When you reach that point, it means that the ND government's political time has expired," he explained.

    Asked whether he considered possible the appearance of a new political party in the political arena, Papandreou noted that he, too, was following the relevant rumors and workings with interest, but stressed that a political party has substance, dynamic and a future when it responds to the real needs of society, when it expresses real trends seeking their representation. If such a party arises, then it is welcome, the PASOK leader said, otherwise, if it was a "concoction from above" that simply attempts to take advantage of the circumstances in order to serve the plans of the establishment, then the venture would soon prove to be "stillborn".

    He further charged that there were "interests" which were systematically working to undermine PASOK and its potential, and "economic forces and non-institutional conservative political centers that don't want a socially just PASOK in power, that don't want anyone with principles and who was fighting for those principles to be in power'.

    To another question on the prospect of governmental cooperation with ND, Papandreou said that "we cannot change the country's course by collaborating with those who are responsible for its present course"."

    "It is impossible for us to collaborate with a party that represents the most aggressive neo-conservative forces, that exercises extreme policies in order to serve the big oligarchic interests, that produces and covers up scandals, that considers the state its spoils, that even adulterates the parliamentary procedures, and which never wanted to work with us to combat those phenomena," he added.

    On the prospect of a PASOK collaboration with the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance, Papandreou said PASOK's position was clear and simple, that it issued a proposal for cooperation to the other forces of the Center-Left, the form of which could be set out through a dialogue and could be a general cooperation or a cooperation on specific issues on which they shared views.

    "We believe that collaboration gives strength to ideas, ensures consensus, mobilizes forces. We believe that unity brings a better result. We do not fear collaboration on specific issues, even if we disagree on others. There can be only benefit to society from such a collaboration. Whoever doesn't comprehend this must assume their responsibilities. The irony is that their refusal to participate in an alternative plan of governance of the country pushes the citizens to the 'two-party system' which they are supposedly fighting against. Because the majority of the people don't want to simply express an abstract protest. They want solutions to their problems. Solutions that will arise from a government that will work on the basis of a specific program," Papandreou said.

    Caption: File photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou. (ANA-MPA)

    [02] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Sunday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis' traditional address at the 73d Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) unveiling the guidelines of economic policy for the following year dominated the front pages in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Karamanlis prepared for everything - He is decisively carrying on with the reforms and is optimistic about the future".

    APOGEVMATINI: "Karamanlis' 7 targets - Fully structured economic, social and foreign policy presented yesterday (Saturday) by prime minister in his TIF address".

    AVGHI: "Karamanlis at TIF with basket (of measures) full of holes".

    AVRIANI: "Clear-cut message from Karamanlis on the economy, growth and reforms - I will not mortgage the country's prospects on the altar of temporary popularity for the government".

    CHORA: "Karamanlis clarifies everything - Clear-cut words today by the prime minister on the murky landscape (iat his scheduled press conference at the TIF on Sunday)".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Six in 10 citizens now demand government reshuffle - Displeasure with the government - ND lead over main opposition PASOK now stands at 2 percentage points - Clear decline in SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance) popularity".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Scandals, provocative attitudes, tax raids hurting Karamanlis' popularity".

    ETHNOS: "Karamanlis obliged to carry out clean-up in ND - Shocking statement by Yannis Kefaloyannis against George Voulgarakis (merchant marine minister) and others".

    KATHIMERINI: "Karamanlis facing critical dilemmas with his ministers' faux pas".

    LOGOS: "Persistence on the reforms, despite the political cost - Karamanlis' 'account' on the economy".

    NIKI: "Karamanlis faces fire, trapped by the scandals and the unfeeling policy".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Disengagement from the policy of the plutocracy the only way out for workers, poor farmers, self-employed".

    TO VIMA: "Elections scenaria - What Karamanlis will decided - Government seeking 'package of dates' ".

    VRADYNI: "Karamanlis counter-attack - Significant iniatives to change the morose climate".

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