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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-12

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: EU's support a 'breath of life' for Greece

  • [01] PM: EU's support a 'breath of life' for Greece

    The expression of support from European leaders was a "breath of life" for Greece, giving it a vital respite from market pressures, Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Friday.

    Addressing the second meeting of his cabinet this week, the Greek premier said the 'credit' of confidence extended to Greece by its EU partners after the European Council on Thursday had given the country time and the opportunity to carry out deep reforms that would bring it out of the crisis.

    Noting that Greece had found itself unprotected before the attack from international markets due to the failings of the previous New Democracy (ND) government, Papandreou criticised EU agencies for tolerating and even supporting ND's policies. He also charged the EU with appearing 'weak' and failing to support Greece or the other countries under attack from international markets.

    The Greek premier said Europe had appeared uncoordinated amidst prophecies of collapse, while EU bodies had tried to conceal their own responsibilities by placing the blame on Greece.

    In particular, he held the European Commission and Eurostat to account for allowing the previous Greek government to deliberately falsify its economic statistics, as he charged.

    These same European agencies had failed to help Greece face the attack by international markets and in this way failed the EU itself, allowing Greece to become a 'guinea-pig' for Europe and markets as a result, he added.

    Papandreou pointed out that in cases similar to those of Greece in the past, the country might have resorted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This route could also have been suggested by the EU at present, he noted, something that was not done.

    Papandreou underlined the importance of the current day, stressing that the battle was not over. Greece was preparing to regain its credibility at the EU, but at the same time the EU's own credibility was being tested, since it would have to help correct not only the things that were wrong in Greece but also its own mistakes.

    It was now the patriotic duty of all Greeks to show that they deserved the trust once more placed in them by Greece's EU partners, he added.

    Turning his fire on main opposition ND, he accused the previous government of having presided over an unprecedented slide in the way the country was governed and of having then quit "without any hint of shame, looting public coffers up until the very last minute."

    "I am faced with this in all my meetings and these things are used as proofs by our partners to cite reasons why they do not trust Greeks," he said.

    "What is demanded of everyone is systematic work, a national effort, and in this battle we must give of our best. There is no other choice," Papandreou underlined.

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