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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-08

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou address to Brookings Institution
  • [02] ND leader attacks government

  • [01] Papandreou address to Brookings Institution

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou spoke at the noted Brookings Institution here, where he spoke extensively on the ongoing deficit and economic crisis plaguing Greece, a day before his meeting at the White House with US President Barack Obama.

    Papandreou referred directly to the latest batch of austerity measures taken by Greece last week to trim the double-digit budget deficit and a ballooning public debt.

    "To restore confidence in our country and stability to our economy, we pledged to bring the 12.7 percent deficit down to 8 percent this year, and to EU-mandated levels of 3 percent by 2012 ... To meet those targets, the (Greek) Parliament has adopted the toughest austerity measures in Greece's modern history ..." he said.



    [02] ND leader attacks government

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing a party event on Monday, on the occasion of World Women's Day, criticised the government for its handling of the economy, while also referring to his party's five-year tenure.

    Samaras placed the responsibility for the present state of the economy on the government, saying that "mistakes and omissions of our own governance are to blame as well. The present government inertia is mainly to blame, the lack of a plan, the betrayal of expectations cultivated by PASOK, the breaking of promises it gave before the elections. As well as the lack of will, the delaying and the confusion it showed after the elections."

    The ND leader said that PASOK was aware of the state of the economy when, before the elections, "it was promising everything to everybody" and that it had also been briefed by the then relevant EU Commissioner Joacquin Almunia as well, and the Governor of the Bank of Greece.

    He further accused PASOK of "wasting time, and then it paralysed, the spreads increased, Greece borrowed at a much greater cost than was the case until very recently and then it was obliged to compromise with the most burdensome measures that have ever been imposed on a eurozone member-state."

    Samaras expressed disagreement with the measures taken by the government, stressing that "we disagree, therefore, not only with most of the measures that were announced a few days ago. We also disagree with the total policy mixture that is being followed."

    He explained that "the measures are immersing the economy in recession and do not ultimately reduce the deficits, on the contrary they severely harm the economy, they harm society seriously, the ordinary man, the weak citizen, the middle class and immerse the dreams of young people in darkness."

    Samaras added that the government's measures "go far beyond the endurances of society" and stressed that ND proposes a policy mixture that saves the economy, changes the model and restructures public finances.

    Samaras concluded his address by saying that "all of us together will achieve victory. A victory, not for us to take power, but for us to change Greece. A victory not for our party alone. A victory for all of Greece."

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