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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Nothing will obstruct the truth
  • [02] PASOK reaction to PM's address

  • [01] PM: Nothing will obstruct the truth

    Nothing will obstruct the truth, prime minister Costas Karamanlis stressed on Friday, adding that there would be no tolerance for any illegality, addressing a meeting of his ruling New Democracy (ND) party's Central Committee, while at the same time he challenged dissenters to a direct face-off, saying that he had manifested great patience and tolerance with cadres' public statements and personal promotion, but warned that there was a limit to tolerance, and that he would not accept attitudes that undermined the common efforts and harmed the party.

    Karamanlis further said that the government understood the citizens' problems, adding that it was advancing a plan for tackling those problems.

    Further, he adamantly ruled out the prospect of a government reshuffle, and challenged dissenters: "Whoever disputes me, let him confront me face-to-face".

    Karamanlis warned that he would not succumb to coercion, nor would he tolerate continuous tearing away at the government. "Whoever has other plans, let him dispute me face-on, let him topple the government", he challenged the in-party dissenters.

    "I will not succumb to pressures," the premier said, stressing that "the prime ministership is not my purpose. My vision is to serve my country".

    Karamanlis referred to recent criticism by party MPs and cadres, noting that the views and recommendations were welcome, "but not, however, the undermining dispute (of government policy) and personal strategies".

    "I have displayed tolerance to personal strategies. I have displayed tolerance for and patience with even exaggerations. But there can be no lack of a sense of responsibility, there are limits to tolerance for such attitudes and disdain of the party. Let each and every one assume their responsibilities. We are here to advance the collective interest," Karamanlis stressed.

    The prime minister said that he does not deny that mistakes and omissions have been made. "I have full perception, a clear picture. "We must all hear the citizens. I always seek the best for the country, in the knowledge that there are difficulties and problems."

    Referring to the political climate over the past month, he said that some quarters were cultivating a climate of disdain and disinformation "that overshadows the government's work", adding that "para-politics is overshadowing our work", and stressing that "it is our duty to not ourselves disdain our efforts, we must protect the party".

    Karamanlis further spoke of the scandal-mongering and climate of political disdain being cultivated "by those who oppose all changes", warning that some quarters were attempting to hurt the government and manipulate the public opinion.

    Responding to the recent calls by party cadres for changes in the composition of the government and the party officials, Karamanlis explained that there are two types of governmental changes: changes in policies, and changes in faces. However, he continued, such decisions are not taken for the sake of impressions or evasion.

    On the issue of exchanges of real estate between the Mt. Athos monastery of Vatopedi and the state, which have drawn fierce fire and are the object of a probe launched by a Supreme Court prosecutor, Karamanlis said that "we have taken, and are taking, all the necessary measures for protection of the public nterest".

    "No aspect of the case will remain in the dark. We have confidence in the justice system and are awaiting the outcome of the inquiry," Karamanlis said and, in reference to the current talk of scandals, the premier clarified that "there is no tolerance on any illegality, nothing will remain unclear".

    On the international economic crisis, he said it has impacted national economies, including Greece's, as well as the everyday lives of the people, but clarified that the consequences were smaller for the Greek economy because it has been "shielded" by the changes and reforms advanced by the government over the past few years.

    "Things have become more difficult for everyone, and for the daily lives of the citizens. We comprehend their demands, have full knowledge of the problems, and are carrying on with the changes and reforms," the prime minister said.

    In a criticism of the main opposition PASOK party, Karamanlis warned that the problems cannot be solved through populistic promises. "Some quarters are promising billions of euros. Where will those come from? Where will they take the debts and the problems? Are they forgetting that the interest on the debts we inherited have reached 10 billion euros a year?"

    Karamanlis further clarified that he would not give in to "temptations" and would not resort to handlings that could prove catastrophic in the future, and that he would not dole out false promises because the (political) climate has become 'heavy'.

    Giving account of the government's work thus far, he listed the fundamental commitments that have been fulfilled, stressing that the government's first priority from here on would be to tackle the social problems and strengthen the social protectin index.

    Karamanlis, at the beginning of his address, referred to the 19th anniversary of the assassination of prominent journalist and ND parliamentarian Pavlos Bakoyannis (husband of current foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and son-in-law of then prime minister Costas Mitsotakis), on September 16, 1989 by the now defunct 'November 17' terrorist group, and paid tribute "to his struggles, to his memory, to the memory of all the victims of terrorism".

    "Pavlos, we will never forget you," Karamanlis said.

    Caption:Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed New Democracy Central Committee at a downtown Athens hotel on Friday 26 September 2008. ANA-MPA/KATERINA MAVRONA

    [02] PASOK reaction to PM's address

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou on Friday responded to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' earlier address by charging that the "government is a step before the exit", referring to prime minister's speech at ruling New Democracy (ND) central committee meeting.

    Papaconstantinou said Karamanlis "turned his back" on society, referred only to the ruling party's internal issues, saying this is an indication that the premier is unable to solve ND's problems as well as the country's impasses.

    "Mr. Karamanlis sent the bill to Greek citizens by speaking as if there wasn't a crisis in the country. It is obvious that Mr. Karamanlis doesn't or is incapable of providing solutions. The country needs an exit plan from the crisis, a turn of course. The country needs a new government," he concluded.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK party spokesman George Papaconstantinou.

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