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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-03-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: Yes to consensus under conditions
  • [02] ND sec't: No early elections
  • [03] KKE 18th congress pronouncement

  • [01] Papandreou: Yes to consensus under conditions

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on Sunday toured the northwest city of Ioannina, where he told supporters that he is positive on the need for consensus by all political forces to deal with the economic crisis, but under conditions and with plan and targets serving peoples' interests.

    "Consensus without a plan and goals, as Prime Minister Mr. (Costas) Karamanlis asks, is just a blank cheque to proceed with his policy, which is unjust and unreliable and finally leads to an impasse that will keep supporting his 'favourites' and the few; continuing the looting of state coffers, corruption and the inequality. We will not give our acquiescence for such a blank cheque," Papandreou said.

    He again repeated his demand for early elections. "Let's leave Greek people to decide what they want: PASOK or ruling New Democracy, exit from bankruptcy and the crisis, a dignified living or poverty, security or insecurity, protection or a sell-out and looting of the state's wealth, fear and obedience to European and international fora, or a proud and strong negotiation with our partners in the EU?"

    Referring to European Parliament elections, Papandreou called for a change in political forces' correlation by giving preference to European socialists, asking: "Who told us that we must accept a conservative Europe that will focus on the market and common currency and not a democratic Europe ā¦ one of a new development model that will invest in education and modernisation, in human development and the environment...?"

    "Without a development goal we will not be able to exit from the crisis," he said, outlining PASOK's five priorities for what he has touted as "green development."

    In reference to the all-important sources for funding such initiatives, Papandreou again referred to a "redistribution of wealth", "green growth", cutting waste in public spending, better management of existing state resources, and EU funding.

    "People have the power with their vote to choose between two different worlds, and they will choose PASOK," he concluded.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou

    [02] ND sec't: No early elections

    Ruling New Democracy party secretary Lefteris Zagoritis said on Sunday emphasized that "early elections are not included in our plans or in our intentions".

    His comments were carried in an interview published by the Athens daily 'Chora'.

    "What we are worried about is how to deal with the consequences of the international economic crisis in our country and society's real problems. Our priority and our worry is to guarantee security, and of course, to support the financially weaker, and that's what we are doing," he said.

    Zagoritis said the ruling party, despite whatever problems, has the initiative, while pointing to the fact that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis continues to garner higher preferences amongst voters than main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of ruling New Democracy secretary Lefteris Zagoritis

    [03] KKE 18th congress pronouncement

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Sunday announced various decisions from its 18th congress, with the slogan ?counterattack? dominated texts.

    KKE foresees that the decline of the mainstream two-party system, in tandem with what it calls an increase in peopleās reasoning of no basic differences between them. In the midst of the economic crisis, KKE underlines that its positions towards another model of development has been confirmed.

    Moreover, one political decision notes that "the 18th congress stated that KKE's fixed and clear target is counterattack,? adding that the party is going though a period of progress and maturity and is more fortified and experienced.

    KKE's announcement referred also to the possibility of early elections, predicting that the government will not complete its four-year tenure.

    Referring to European parliament elections, KKE's said that ND and PASOK have decided and signed all the ?anti-social EU decisions?, that have taken part in ?imperialistic attacks? and the wars that EU supported.

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