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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Samaras: we can still avoid the IMF
  • [02] 'Anger' at IMF involvement
  • [03] Tsipras on IMF, euro

  • [01] Samaras: we can still avoid the IMF

    Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras appealed to the government to avoid resorting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) "even at the 11th hour", during an interview published by the Sunday newspaper "To Vima".

    "We can still avoid it. And we must face the crisis supported by our own strength. We have massive unexploited resources, natural and human, material and immaterial, a huge wealth. We are a ...rich, over-indebted country! We have only just realised that we have excessive debt. We have not yet realised that we are rich," Samaras stressed.

    ND's leader denied that he was afraid but expressed concern that Greece was heading toward "conditions of social unrest".

    He went on to attack the government - while expressing his confidence in the prime minister on a personal level - for silly mistakes, mixed messages, delays, contradictions and obsessions.

    According to Samaras, the current government succeeded in turning a deficit crisis that was common to all countries into a state borrowing crisis that was without precedent, turning Greece into the 'weak link' in the Eurozone.

    Concerning ND's share of responsibility for the current economic situation, Samaras admitted that the previous ND government under Costas Karamanlis had in many cases "hesitated, delayed or not dared" to make necessary changes. In other cases, he added, it had come up against a blank wall of refusal from the entire opposition, led by PASOK.

    Samaras criticises government, admits ND errors

    New Democracy's pre-Congress event in Nafplio on Saturday, Samaras launched a harsh attack on the way Prime Minister George Papandreou and his government had handled the economic crisis but also acknowledged that mistakes had been made by his own party as well.

    "ND has admitted all its sins and is getting rid of the dead weight of the past. This is the mandate I was given and this is the mandate I intend to carry out," Samaras said to resounding applause from delegates.

    He stressed that ND would work to rebuild people's faith in the party from the beginning again, with the first step in this direction being the election of the party's leader by 800,000 people.

    Samaras also stressed that ND would exercise a responsible opposition and not hesitate to clash with the government, especially when this seemed to have no plan for dealing with the crisis, while he held Papandreou personally and fully responsible for the country economic state and for driving Greece into the arms of the IMF.

    He also strongly criticised Papandreou's attempt to blame the policies of right-wing governments in Greece and Europe for driving Greece to the IMF.

    [02] 'Anger' at IMF involvement

    Nine in 10 Greeks, or 92 percent, are convinced that resorting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan will lead to the imposition of new austerity measures, according to an opinion poll conducted by the firm Pulse RC and published in the newspaper "Typos tis Kyriakis" on Sunday.

    The poll was based on a survey carried out on April 15-16, a few hours after news that Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou had sent a letter to the heads of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF had hit the headlines.

    Of the respondents, 48 percent said that the news of the minister's letter made them feel 'anger' and 28 percent expressed 'fear'. Irrespective of what political party they supported, 65 percent of respondents anticipated that resorting to the IMF will have a negative impact on their lives, while 57 percent stated that before Papaconstantinou's letter they believed that Greece, with the right mix of policies, could overcome the crisis on its own without the intervention of Europe or the IMF.

    Concerning current developments in the Greek economy, 58 percent considered all the recent Greek governments responsible for the current state of affairs, 23 percent blamed the government of Costas Karamanlis and 13 percent blamed that of Costas Simitis.

    Only five in 100 respondents blamed the current government for the state of the economy but 74 percent describe its handling of economic issues as 'average', 'bad' or 'very bad'.

    [03] Tsipras on IMF, euro

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras stressed the dire consequences of any possible resort by Greece to the International Monetary Fund, during an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Typos tis Kyriakis".

    "Whatever has not yet been sold will be sold, whatever rights are left to us will be lost," he underlined, predicting "conditions of total looting".

    Tsipras blamed Prime Minister George Papandreou for the conditions that led the country to its current borrowing crisis, suggesting that "his advisors hailing from across the Atlantic may have played a part".

    He opposed the solution of Greece exiting the eurozone, however, noting that such a move at present would drastically magnify existing social inequities. He also pointed out that the issue was not whether Greece would choose to remain in the euro but whether the common currency would survive the storm.


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