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

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: ND must 'stand united' for Euro polls

  • [01] PM: ND must 'stand united' for Euro polls

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis launched yet another attack on main opposition PASOK's leader George Papandreou on Saturday, emphasising that PASOK's president was misrepresenting the reasons why Parliament was closing early. Addressing a meeting of ruling New Democracy's Central Committee held in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, he also urged members of his party to stand united in the battle for the EuroParliament elections.

    "The government has nothing to hide, nothing to cover up and wants the country to go to EuroParliament elections on political terms," Karamanlis stressed, adding that PASOK's reaction to the decision was misleading since it was hiding the fact that Parliament nearly always ended its sessions early before the European Parliament elections.

    The premier then went on to repeat previous criticism against Papandreou, accusing him of "resorting to extremes," of trying to write off his party's "sinful past" by using irresponsible sensationalism, trying to deceive voters and being unable to appreciate the critical nature of the current period.

    Karamanlis also completely rejected PASOK accusations that the government was itself behind an organised smear and scandal campaign, stressing that "even political nerve has its limits".

    "It is well known who the mud-slingers and slanderers are in this country. It is known who defames even the country itself," he added.

    Commenting on Papandreou's reaction to Friday's announcement that Parliament was closing early for the European Parliament elections on June 7, the premier noted that PASOK's leader had "revealed himself".

    "He shows that he does not understand that the situation is critical. He reveals that he has no plan, no vision for the country. All his visions begin and end with the same craving: how to take power. All his visions begin and end with the same irresponsible views. He does not hesitate to sacrifice the nation's interests on the altar of party-political and personal ambitions. He does not want, he cannot, contribute to the Greek people's struggle to emerge from the crisis," Karamanlis stressed.

    Papandreou and his party had failed to support necessary changes and failed to propose any realistic policies for the country's progress, opting instead for populism, wish-lists and an attempt to shift public debate to "grey" areas and scandal, Karamanlis asserted.

    "He prefers to sound appealing than to be useful to the country. This cynicism cannot be allowed to pass in our society. This cynicism cannot get very far," the premier underlined.

    Outlining his own vision for the upcoming electoral battle, he stressed that ND must forge ahead united with clear goals, striving to solve the problems of the people, to shield the country from the global crisis and to ensure new prospects for the future.

    "Talk about our work, talk about our goals. Openly. Honestly. We dare to be compared in all areas," Karamanlis stressed, adding that the government had chosen the path of responsibility and would neither trade nor change this.

    The prime minister also referred to the symbolic significance of beginning the party's campaign for the European elections in Thessaloniki, the heart of the Greek province of Macedonia, on Europe Day when the EU celebrated its foundation and linked this decision with ND's founder Constantine Karamanlis.

    "We are proud because the greatest achievement of our country since democracy was restored was due to the efforts of our party, the efforts of Constantine Karamanlis," he underlined.

    "Our positions for the present and future of Europe were and are clear: we want Europe to have a single voice and strong international presence. A Europe that is able to formulate effective policies in the face of major global challenges," Greece's premier stressed.

    In a message to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), Karamanlis noted that the country's progress toward EuroAtlantic structures depended primarily on its own choices and urged Skopje to put aside excuses, nationalism and historically unfounded obsessions. "History cannot be written off, history cannot be rewritten," he emphasised.

    Turning to the government's measures for the economic crisis, the prime minister again emphasised that support for weaker social strata was a priority and referred in detail to the government's work in Thessaloniki and northern Greece.

    "We share together the vision of a strong Macedonia and Thrace in a strong Greece. Together we are unfolding its implementation. Northern Greece - Macedonia, Thrace - are evolving today into an international transit hub, a trade and banking centre for southeastern Europe, a diverse energy conduit," he said, listing the major public infrastructure currently underway that would bring this transformation about.

    Caption: Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressing ruling New Democracy's Central Committee at a hotel in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Saturday. ANA-MPA - Nikos Arvanitidis.

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