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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-29
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Greek PM: "National Interest Comes First"Thursday, 29 April 2010 20:16
"The immediate emergency measures are the strong bridge that will allow us to carry out major changes. To cement each citizen's life and to make sure that development will be dynamic in a fairer society. We [the government] will be judged by that and we will get a positive rating because we will make it," said Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou while addressing Thursday evening a sitting of PASOK's Political Council.
"We Will Do Whatever It Takes to Save the Country"
"We are in the middle of an ongoing crisis, a crisis that we have never experienced before [...] We will overcome the problems and our efforts will yield results" G. Papandreou
"Our goals for a different Greece have become more vivid, more demanding and nationally necessary," said the Greek Premier further adding, "Unfortunately, we were proved right when speaking about the plagues of the political system, the public sector and the productive model."
"They exposed Greece to the fierce winds of a scared and speculative world market," noted he.
He then went on to stress, "We are fighting a battle to live up to five goals at the same time":
* to save the country and protect its citizens
* to exit the crisis confidently and securely
* to create the necessary conditions so as to change the country's productive structure
* to pave the way for a viable and green development and
* to promote social justice.
George Papandreou said, "Past practices, as well as the disastrous policies of the previous government, are forcing us to fight a survival battle and we are being called on to take historic decisions, no matter how tough and painful they are."
"We will do whatever it takes to save the country. This is the mandate given to us. History has showed that we always shoulder our responsibilities," commented the Greek head of government.
He also argued, "The latest developments in Europe proved that the truths we had been telling in the beginning and no one wanted to listen to, are now common knowledge. We will go through hardships, but we will make it. Our fellow citizens can be certain that we managed to turn the corner step by step, and now we can build on solid foundations."
"We should leave the excessive deficit procedure behind. If we all work hard, Greece and our lives will be much different in the future"
"The talks with our partners and the International Monetary Fund on the activation of the support mechanism are to wrap up in the days to come. We will leave behind a period of justified insecurity and then we will do our best to build a better future for us and our children," said the Greek Prime Minister.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 36071
 A.Samaras Addresses Economist ConferenceThursday, 29 April 2010 20:02
Addressing the Economist conference, ND President Antonis Samaras underlined that this year's conference is taking place under truly dramatic circumstances. "It is obvious that the crisis is not only Greece's. It is obvious that Greece proved to be the 'weak part' of a much wider crisis, which Europe has just started to suspect."
Samaras touched on four questions, the Greek dimension of the crisis, the European dimension of the crisis and why Greece became the weakest part. He also focused on what Greece can do to survive the crisis and on the first conclusions to be drawn.
"Which are the reasons behind a country's borrowing crisis? Three causes are required for such a crisis:
Firstly, a growing debt and a growing deficit. This is the fiscal prerequisite. The first to raise concern among international creditors is a growing debt self-nourished by a growing deficit. A necessary prerequisite, yet not capable.
Secondly, there has to be a plunge in competitiveness. A high deficit and a high debt are not enough to make a country's creditors wary. Its competitiveness has to show signs of critical and ongoing deterioration. It is then when doubt is cast on the country's ability to serve its debt in the future.
Thirdly, the government should appear incapable of managing its finances and making the necessary structural moves to address the problem. International creditors do not lose their patience that easily, especially when it comes to a eurozone nation. Huge deficits, huge debts and low competitiveness do not cause concern, unless creditors believe that the government can carry out the structural moves in good time.
But when this trust is lost, then the disastrous domino effect we have been witnessing for the past few months comes into being. We really wish that no other country has to live through this.
There is not a single cause. At least three to four reasons are required for a borrowing crisis in a country like Greece to break out.
And there is the proof:
There are eurozone countries, like Italy, which have higher debt than Greece's. But they have not been plunged in a borrowing crisis.
There are member-states, like Ireland, whose deficit is higher than that of Greece. After the recent revision, Greece ranks second with its deficit standing ay 13.6%, as opposed to Ireland whose deficit amounts to 14.3%. However, Ireland does not suffer from a borrowing crisis.
On the other hand, there are countries that defaulted when the correlation between their debt and GDP was much lower. Take Argentina for example. When it defaulted in 2002, its debt stood at 50% of its GDP. According to the EU standards, it would have been a 'healthy' economy. But it defaulted. Why?
Because there is not a debt or deficit threshold that automatically leads to a borrowing crisis.
Japan, on the other hand, has high competitiveness and that's how it can deal with it enormous debt that stands at 200% of its GDP.
Argentina saw its competitiveness collapsing and ran up against yet another problem, with its debt levels being considered really low elsewhere.
Italy and Ireland have similar structural problems, yet they have convinced markets they are wisely addressing them and therefore no concerns have been raised." News item: 36070
 Dora Bakoyannis' Proposals RejectedThursday, 29 April 2010 18:48
It is up to the main opposition New Democracy leader Mr Samaras when and what moves he will take in relation to the developments in the Greek economy, said the ND President's office to Dora Bakoyannis who called for a sitting of the party's Parliamentarian Group. In the meantime, former Consecutive deputy Aristotelis Pavlides, who was kicked out of the ND party, lashed out at Antonis Samaras anew.
"What to Be Done Will Be Done When Needed"
New Democracy said no to Dora Bakoyannis call for a sitting of the party's parliamentary group.
The ND President will do what has to be done when the time is right, said Antonis Samaras' aids.
Pavlides Attacks ND Leader
In the meantime, former Consecutive deputy Aristotelis Pavlides gave a Press conference where he lashed out at the ND President.
Pavlides claimed he was kicked out of the party by some "who cannot read the party's statutes.
ND's spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos declined to make any comments.
Source: NET, ANA/MPA
News item: 36066