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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM: ND led country to over-borrowing
  • [02] Samaras: PASOK drove Greece to IMF
  • [03] Strauss-Kahn statement after meeting Finmin
  • [04] 15k in 'Athens Fun Run'
  • [05] Panathinaikos wins Cup Final

  • [01] PM: ND led country to over-borrowing

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Saturday promised that his government will "make every effort so that people not responsible for the economic crisis won't pay", speaking to supporters on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes, a day after announcing Athens' request for activation of a euro-area-IMF economic support mechanism.

    Papandreou reiterated that the support mechanism may not be the best possible, but it's the one "we've got", and also a solution that is for the most part European.

    "Due to our budget deficits, the EU, along with the IMF today, arrived here ... it is a form of guardianship ... And it is not at all pleasant," he said.

    Papandreou also lashed out at the previous New Democracy (ND) he succeeded, saying the previous government caused the massive ballooning of the public debt and to significant deficits.

    Papandreou's addressed in the Kremasti square concluded a two-day tour of tiny Kastellorizo, in the extreme southeastern Aegean, and the popular holiday island of Rhodes.

    [02] Samaras: PASOK drove Greece to IMF

    With accusations against ruling PASOK for lying and deliberately driving the country into the arms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Sunday said the ruling party was "fully responsible for what happened and what will happen from now on". He was speaking in Kalamata, southern Greece during an ND conference on health.

    "We handed over to PASOK a deficit crisis and PASOK is now handing Greece over to the IMF with a borrowing crisis," he said, noting that PASOK had not been forced into this course of action as it claimed but had chosen it and made it unavoidable through its actions.

    "There are two things apart from the debt and deficit that lead a country into a borrowing crisis: these are competitiveness and credibility. Today, our political system has suddenly discovered the massive debt and deficit. It has not yet discovered the continuous collapse in our competitiveness," he said.

    Samaras conceded that the previous ND government had made grave mistakes, especially in its failure to fight 'statism' and to refound the state and in its inability to control the debt because it had bowed to considerations of political cost.

    "For all this we owe an apology to our supporters and the Greek people. But we will definitely not excuse ourselves to those who tried to block every attempt by ND governments to rein in the chaos of public finances and resorted to ruthless populism," he added.

    ND's leader referred to the failure of the political system and a state that was constantly producing less, borrowing more and collecting less and less tax revenue, and this always from the same unfortunate groups. "Such a state is doomed to sink," he emphasised.

    He also attacked PASOK for "having the temerity" to try to shift the blame for the situation onto others:

    "But you all know who took over the country with a debt of 29 percent of GDP in the 80s and handed it over with a debt of 110 percent of GDP in eight years and you all know you brought populism to Greece.

    According to ND's leader, the way out for Greece was to take immediate measures to boost the economy, structural measures that will immediately increase competitiveness and measures to use the property of the state-sector in order to emerge from the over-borrowing crisis in the medium term and shake off IMF supervision.

    The government was unable to do any of the three, while ND had to manage to regain the trust of the people, Samaras added.

    [03] Strauss-Kahn statement after meeting Finmin

    WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA - A. Ellis) After a meeting held here on Sunday with Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the IMF had accelerated talks with the Greek government on an EU-IMF support mechanism for Greece.

    "The Minister and I had a very constructive meeting and I am impressed with the Greek authorities' determination to take the actions necessary to put their economy back on track.

    "Since we received the request for financial support last Friday, our discussions with the authorities have accelerated. The IMF, the European partners, and everyone involved in the financing effort recognizes the need for speed. I am confident that we will conclude discussions in time to meet Greece's needs.

    "We are all aware of the seriousness of the situation and the courageous efforts being made by the Greek people," Strauss-Kahn said, according to an an announcement issued by the IMF immediately after the meeting.

    [04] 15k in 'Athens Fun Run'

    Roughly 15,000 Athenians of all ages took part in the 27th Athens Fun Run that was held in the city on Sunday, as part of the Athens City Games 2010.

    A classic sporting event organised by the City of Athens and the City of Athens Youth and Sport Organisation (ONA), the race has two routes: the 8-kilometre route for the general public starting at the Panathenian Stadium and a shorter 3.5-kilometre route for the disabled beginning at Syntagma Square.

    "The Athens Fun Run is the biggest sports festival in the city," Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis said, adding that this year's race was doubly symbolic because of the economic crisis that Greece is undergoing, with the large-scale participation acting as a message of hope and optimism that Greeks can beat the crisis and the International Monetary Fund.

    According to ONA president Vassilis Kikilias, this year's fun run was the most successful and he was proud that it came at the end of his four-year term.

    [05] Panathinaikos wins Cup Final

    Athens Panathinaikos prevailed as top team of the 2009/2010 season on Saturday night, securing both the championship and the premier league Cup with its 1-0 victory over Thessaloniki's Aris FC in the Cup Final match at the OAKA Olympic Stadium.

    The winning goal was scored by left-wing Sebastian Leto in the 64th minute of the game, securing for the Athens team their 17th Cup in Panathinaikos' history and forcing the side from the north to concede yet another in a long string of defeats in its bid for the Cup, which it hasn't won since 1970.


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