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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras: 'We will win this battle'

  • [01] Samaras: 'We will win this battle'

    AMNA -- Launching preparations for the party's 9th Regular Conference in a few months time, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras addressed ND's Political Committee on Saturday and expressed confidence that Greece will finally prevail, emerging from the crisis a winner.

    "Today our homeland is fighting a battle, fighting a battle so that the country can overcome a crisis that is without precedent in recent decades. We are waging this fight with good omens. We will emerge from the crisis and give optimism and a smile to the young people," Samaras stressed.

    Regarding ND's 9th Party Regular Conference, he said that this will "build Greece in the year 2020" and should be an "opening to society," and a chance to try out new forms of representation and new faces.

    "The conference will not be a run-of-the-mill process. We will act unconventionally, we will go to all Greece, use the Internet, use new technologies, discuss thematic unities in all ways, discuss illegal migration, public safety. The conference will lead our thought and course," he added.

    Carrying out an overview of what the three-party coalition government has achieved so far, the prime minister stressed that it had defied predictions of its rapid collapse, of Greece's inability to borrow funds and eventual exit from the Euro.

    "We kept two fundamental pre-election pledges: we kept the country in the euro and managed to change the loan agreement, reducing the debt and obtaining an extension in the period of adjustment. We succeeded in getting the biggest restructuring of debt ever carried out. At the same time, we restored Greece's credibility abroad and strengthened unity at home," Samaras said.

    The prime minister stressed that the months in the run-up to the conference must be a period of intense deliberation, in which the party must approach and listen to society, to which it was linked "by firm roots and strong traditions".

    The prime minister also devoted a large part of his speech to criticising the main opposition party, 'Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA-EKM), for "insisting on past mistakes" and refusing to support the government's reform efforts. Among others, he accused SYRIZA-EKM of "turning away investors" and "making lawlessness their banner" but also of sending out mixed messages at home and abroad.

    "We stand accused by those that at one moment want to tear up the memorandums, the next moment want to negotiate and still later to unilaterally abolish them. We are not dismayed by either their threats or their populism," Samaras said, stressing that the main opposition representing "the worst face of yesterday".

    He emphasised that ND, along with the other two parties in the coalition government, "are holding up the weight of the country's recovery" while noting that Greece was now "out of intensive care but not out of the hospital".

    "We have before us the wager of recovery and growth, we must relieve the lower classes and correct injustices. We first had to save the country from default and then to start supporting those that have the greatest need," he added, stressing that the current difficult situation would have been infinitely worse if the government had acted differently.

    He also appeared confident that Greece would not be adversely affected by the election results in Italy, having secured its financing.

    Referring to exploitation of Greece's Exclusive Economic Zone and the country's energy resources, Samaras noted that Greece needed Europe in order to achieve this, while Europe needed energy resources from Greece. He then referred to Europe's "democratic deficit" and said Greece would participate in talks for "more and better Europe".

    Calling for unity, Samaras said that ND must now make one more leap forward and take the lead in setting the country back on its feet, adding that "a country is a precondition for democracy".

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