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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: tough measures to be taken on economy
  • [02] ND leader harshly attacks PM
  • [03] Nat'l survey on corruption

  • [01] PM: tough measures to be taken on economy

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing his PASOK party's Parliamentary Group on Tuesday, announced the taking of tough but necessary measures for the salvation of the economy and the country. The decisions on specific measures are expected to be taken during Wednesday's cabinet meeting.

    Papandreou described the state of the economy and of the country in dramatic tones, underlining that it is necessary for tough measures to be taken so that "we shall not experience the nightmare of bankruptcy" since, as he said, "creditors are not giving us time".

    The prime minister appealed to "Hellenism in its entirety to contribute to the effort for the country's salvation and at the same time for the foundations to be laid for the new Greece that we deserve."

    He strongly criticised the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), the two parties that requested the postponement of Tuesday's discussion at the Parliamentary plenum on the stability and growth programme, that they had called for.

    Papandreou further said that things have reached their limits and on a daily basis "we are struggling with time," while stressing the "danger of Greece going out to ask for a loan and finding the doors closed."

    He also said that he spoke with sincerity on what will happen if the decisisons that must be taken are not taken and if the government hides and behaves irresponsibly as others have done in the past.

    In this case, he stressed, not only will the 14th and 13th salary be placed in danger but even more so, the pensions as well. "It might appear nightmarish but this is the truth," he pointed out.

    The prime minister stressed that the government "is waging a struggle for those who doubt to be convinced that the country has taken its decisions and that it is in a position to implement them and that it can exit from the crisis."

    Papandreou went on to say that the decisions which the government will take "are also expected with interest by Europe which is also in danger and for this reason the responsibility that Greece has is historic."

    The decisions that shall be taken, he added, "are imperative and will constitute the beginning of a new start for the country." He underlined that the government "is obliged to struggle for the economy's salvation and for all the burdens not to fall on the backs of the wage earners and the pensioners."

    "I shall not allow the employees and the pensioners to be left to carry the burdens while those who became rich on their backs to drink to the health of the dupe," Papandreou concluded.

    [02] ND leader harshly attacks PM

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras strongly attacked Prime Minister George Papandrou on Tuesday evening, while responding to the latter's address to the ruling PASOK parliamentary group meeting earlier in the day.

    Samaras accused the premier of an "arrogant appearance, which troubles the entire Greek people". The ND leader also charged that the prime minister "just before announcing new hard measures and visiting important foreign leaders, decided to demolish the internal front, to acquit for ever PASOK and to slander the ND regarding everything bad."

    "The prime minister's point of view to impose on the main opposition party the timing for the exercising of the parliamentary control on him, is outrageous," Samaras said, adding that Papandreou "cannot accuse us because we do not accept a parliamentary debate on measures which he has not yet taken."

    "Fortunately enough, we have not embarked on a parliamentary debate thus saving ourselves from the well-known poem by the prime minister that for yesterday's evils others are to blame, for today's evils the speculators are to blame and for tomorrow we wait and see," Samaras concluded.

    [03] Nat'l survey on corruption

    (ANA-MPA) -- Petty corruption in Greece amounted to roughly 790 million euros last year, according to the results of the National Survey on Corruption in Greece for 2009, released on Tuesday. The survey was conducted by the Public Issue S.A. polling firm on behalf of Transparency International-Greece, and concerned so-called social corruption, focusing on low-level forms of corruption.


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