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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-05-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras: Vote against measures
  • [02] Bakoyannis expelled from ND

  • [01] Samaras: Vote against measures

    The measures tabled by the government will be voted down but they will be supported, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras said in Parliament during Thursday‚s debate on the austerity package.

    "Greece is credible, consistent and has honor," Samaras said, underlining that "these are measures that will push the country deeper into recession."

    The ND leader stated that the PM‚s speech "raised the tone to unprecedented highs," pointing out that he should have sensed society after Wednesday‚s violence and reminded that the stock market scandal cannot be forgotten.

    He said that in the political leaders‚ meeting that will be held under President Karolos Papoulias, he will put aside major differences and "back a 200-deputy-strong Parliament and the abolition of the minister liability law within the framework of a Constitutional revision."

    Referring to the present crisis, Samaras accused ruling PASOK of "turning the debt problem it inherited into a borrowing problem." He also said that the measures adopted "lead to a catastrophic vicious circle of recession and tougher measures, while no measures are being taken to boost economy and growth and keep unemployment rate under control."

    Samaras also stressed that "the state-owned and private property were not utilized properly," and accused the government of "raising money by cutting salaries" without opting for privatizations.

    He reiterated that his party will not vote in favour of the measures but "will back certain clauses that support vulnerable social groups and liquidity."

    Samaras assured that his party will observe the terms passed in parliament and will guarantee for the money that will be given "because Greece is credible, consistent and has honor. However, we will do everything we can to get out of this conjuncture because we (ND) want to be the expression of hope."

    The ND leader stated that the measures set off social explosion referring to reductions in 700-euro pensions announced by the government.

    Samaras underlined that there should be no negotiations on national issues at this moment of time, no debt restructuring will be accepted, while no desecration of monuments like the Acropolis or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier should be allowed to continue. He also said that the country should not be led to a vicious circle of recession, stressing that the blockades of seaports by protesters should stop. The ND leader also accused the government of "engaging in an effort, through an ‚industry of investigation committees‚, to blame the previous government for everything."

    In response, Prime Minister George Papandreou said that the credibility deficit of the country was the result of the "lies uttered by the previous government" referring to the state deficit figures presented by the ND government just days before the general elections last year. "You have been hiding (ND former PM Costas) Karamanlis but some day he will have to speak and give an account for all that happened," Papandreou said.

    As regards the state-owned property, Papandreou said that the proposals tabled by the ND leader were "useful" but they would have been more reliable if transactions were made with "transparency when his party was in office and not like in the case of the Vatopedi", referring to the state-Church real estate scandal.

    Papandreou accused ND of not taking the opportunity to "apologize to the people by voting in favour of the draft law" which is aimed at salvaging the country. He added that "we are not looking for accomplices. We are asking for a new beginning and we call on you to rise to the occasion‚¶By saying ‚we do not vote in favour of the draft law but we support it‚ you seek to please both the creditors and your voters using petty politicking practices."

    [02] Bakoyannis expelled from ND

    The main opposition New Democracy (ND) party's Ethics Committee decided on Thursday evening to expel Dora Bakoyannis from the party altogether.

    According to a relevant announcement, the Committee decided that the reasons for the expulsion of the former foreign minister "are legitimate, both for her stance in the voting held in Parliament on the country's Support Mechanism from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, and for the statement that she made shortly after the decision taken by ND leader Antonis Samaras to expel her from the party's Parliamentary Group."

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