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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM stresses government's 'responsible plan'
  • [02] PASOK leader addresses rally in Patra

  • [01] PM stresses government's 'responsible plan'

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and ruling New Democracy (ND) party leader Costas Karamanlis, addressing a rally in central Athens on Friday evening ahead of Sunday's general elections, stressed that in the elections the citizens "will have to choose between unrealistic promises, the lack of any plan and the vagueness of the PASOK party, on the one hand, and the government's responsible and realistic plan including sincere and necessary measures on the other."

    "We are experiencing hours of national responsibility," Karamanlis said, adding that "the coming months are decisive for the development of our economy, since they will judge the country's timely exit from the international economic storm and our possibility to secure longterm growth on stable bases. If we leave ourselves to irresponsible expressions of ideas, we shall expose ourselves to deadlocks. If we believe pleasant and misleading words we shall be led to unpleasant results."

    Karamanlis criticised main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, accusing him of "hiding because he hides, he does not reply to anything because he fears that by mistake he might let truths out."

    The prime minister further said that Papandreou created a problem with Russia, by disputing the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline agreement and wondered what expediency is served by this stance.

    Moreover, the premier said, the PASOK leader "created a problem with China by questioning the alliance on the port of Piraeus."

    "He is casting shadows on an alliance that began as of yesterday to function to our country's benefit," Karamanlis noted.

    Karamanlis went on to say that Papandreou "is creating insecurity for investors and prospective investors, raising an issue of OTE (the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation), raising an issue for Olympic Air. And this at the time that the new company has begun to function. The result of all this is that interests of the country are harmed, as well as its international credibility."

    He also pointed out that "all that is being claimed by PASOK and its leader cannot be implemented and if they were implemented they would have unbearable consequences for all the citizens and the economy would be led to serious deadlocks," while condemning PASOK's promises and saying that "they are promising everything for everybody."

    Karamanlis, continuing his criticism of PASOK further said that "at the time of the harshest international crisis, at the time that the deficits in Europe are soaring, PASOK has discovered what is unheard of: 'Money is not a problem'. With this conception they took the debt from less than 2 billion euros and delivered it close to 200 billion. They increased it 100 times. With this conception, at a time with particularly favourable international developments, they took the deficit to 7.5 per cent of GDP. With this conception, they took unemployment from 3 percent to 11.3 percent."

    Karamanlis concluded his address by expressing optimism that "at the end of the path, in 2011, Greece will be rid of the deficits, it will have solved issues pending for decades and it will have secured a stable economy in an orbit of longterm growth."

    "I am absolutely optimistic about all this. We can succeed. And we shall succeed. We shall succeed together," he said.

    [02] PASOK leader addresses rally in Patra

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, addressing a rally in the Peloponnese city of Patra on Friday evening ahead of Sunday's general elections, referred to Greece's "great possibilities of gaining the future" and expressed certainty that "the door to the past will close once and for all on Sunday and the door leading to the future will open."

    Papandreou requested mobilisation by all to enable Greece to "become powerful and proud once again." He also appealed to undecided voters and to those who are disappointed with the government's policy who, as he said, had believed the government's promises but had been deceived, calling on them as well to respond to the call for the "creation of Greece that the Greeks deserve".

    The PASOK leader added that "this is Greece that we must deliver to our children and which shall be better and more just than what had been received," stressing that "we know that we can do better and that we have the abilities to succeed."

    Papandreou said that as of October 5 his government will implement the plan for the reconstruction of the Peloponnese, and the regions harassed by the wildfires in particular.

    He also referred to issues regarding agriculture and stockbreeding, which constitute a considerable part of activity in the region of the Peloponnese and of western Greece, promising that the National Council of Biological agriculture will function again promptly.

    Concluding his address, Papandreou stressed: "We want to go towards a Greece that goes beyond itself, to do what every Greek man and every Greek woman believes deeply inside that this country can achieve."

    "The strength to change Greece lies in your hands," he pointed out and reiterated that the struggle "will be waged until the ballot boxes are closed," underlining that every vote can make the difference in enabling the existence of a majority and stable government "which will lead the country along its new and hopeful course."


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