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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: Dilemma is change, or not

  • [01] Papandreou: Dilemma is change, or not

    Ruling PASOK party's national council convened on Thursday, chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou, to focus on the upcoming November local and regional elections, given that the party will announce a series of candidates for municipalities and 13 recently created regional entities around the country by Sunday.

    In referring to criticism by the opposition and press coverage of an unofficial "referendum" on the landmark memorandum agreed to by the government with the EU-ECB-IMF "troika" to secure 110 billion euros in loans, Papandreou said:

    "I consider that the dilemma, which is political, is to either proceed forward, to change the country, or, to not change the country. It is very easy for someone to invite citizens to vote against the troika. Yet this is not simply a protest vote, but one without substance, as the purpose is to hide real issues that we have to deal with," he said.

    Papandreou emphasised that the concept of national sovereignty is sacred for PASOK, which he further added wants a country that can stand on its own two feet.

    In recapping his government's first year in power, Papandreou said a deficit in the country's trustworthiness was the greatest problem faced when PASOK took over the government's reins.

    He also acknowledged that some of the recent austerity measures were painful, while noting that effects of the memorandum -- "the contract for the support mechanism" -- could have been softened had the government had more time.

    Nevertheless, he appeared unwavering in his view of the memorandum's necessity, noting that "if the government had not managed to deal with the issue of a possible bankruptcy, our public wealth would have been left open to the appetites of profiteers and creditors; pensioners would have been left to the mercy of God; the social security system would not exist and public services would not have been able to operate, while basic goods would have been left in the hands of the black market."

    According to reports, PASOK is expected to announce on Thursday 60 to 65 candidates that it supports, with another 20 on Saturday, whereas it may not provide "official support" to roughly another 140.

    On Sunday, PASOK is expected to announce its candidates for the three major municipalities in the country -- Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus -- as well as for the 13 regions.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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