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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: Greek economy in ICU
  • [02] Samaras on economy; addresses EPP

  • [01] PM: Greek economy in ICU

    (ANA-MPA) -- Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday warned that the country "is in the intensive care unit", a reference to financial and fiscal woes he said are also threatening national sovereignty for the first time since 1974, speaking at a meeting of the government's Inner Cabinet.

    The premier further said that the lack of credibility his PASOK government "inherited" from its predecessor New Democracy (ND) has turned into an object of exploitation, and stressed that his government was acting solely on the principle that the only people decide on their future.

    The 2010 state budget it has tabled reflects the government's first steps for recovery of the economy and containment of the deficits, he added.

    Papandreou announced that he will meet with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Thursday to propose a meeting of the leaders of all the political parties in order to discuss ways to eliminate corruption, which he said is linked with the state of the economy.

    The meeting was also addressed by the chairman of the Greek chapter of Transparency International Costas Bakouris, as Wednesday is the UN-recognised International Day against Corruption.

    In other statements, Papandreou linked the economic crisis to the operation of the state, which, as he said, is governed by a 'clientele mentality' and systemic corruption.

    [02] Samaras on economy; addresses EPP

    BONN (ANA-MPA / S. Goutzanis) - Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, addressing the European People's Party (EPP) conference here on Wednesday, expressed his faith in what he called the fundamental principles of social liberalism, which combines decentralised markets with the regulatory role of the state.

    Samaras said that decentralised markets can produce more prosperity than any other system, adding that "free markets cannot solve all problems; in order for us to maximise prosperity and growth we need something more than free markets: we need competitive markets.

    "This 'competitiveness demand' is not achieved automatically by the forces of the market alone. An external factor is necessary that regulates the economy, eliminates the distortions of markets, discourages illicit practices and imposes mutually acceptable rules. Only the state can play this role."

    Samaras also turned his attention to the domestic political scene, nothing that "I realise the anxiety of (PM George) Mr. Papandreou to disengage from his promises before the elections, now that he is facing reality in the face. However, the seriousness of the circumstances at hand does not permit the country's prime minister to resort to uncouth, unfair and groundless attacks against ND governments, instead of acting himself and taking all the necessary measures to enable the country to exit from the crisis with security and stability."

    He added that the unfavourable assessments of international credit rating firms are not due so much to the serious fiscal and economic conditions in the country "but to the indecision and delaying of the government in taking all the suitable measures to confront the crisis."


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