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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't steps up counter-attack against PASOK over economy

  • [01] Gov't steps up counter-attack against PASOK over economy

    Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis on Sunday continued to lead the government's attack on main opposition PASOK as well as the party's leader, George Papandreou, with the emphasis remaining on the economy.

    Among others, Alogoskoufis reiterated his high-profile criticism that PASOK engaged in a "political fraud" in 1999 against the Greek people in order to meet EMU criteria.

    "It's inconceivable that the leader of the main opposition -- especially when he's in the wrong, as he is the one under scrutiny -- to call the prime minister a 'political fraud'. Such a statement cannot remain unanswered ... I continue to insist that PASOK committed a political fraud in 1999 with the figures supplied to our partners in the European Union and to EU agencies, and to the detriment of the Greek people," Alogoskoufis was quoted as saying in televised statements on Sunday.

    Asked about his statement in September 2004, when he noted that "Greece entered EMU on its merit", he clarified that a high-profile audit ordered by the government had not been completed at the time, an audit he said confirmed the fact that the annual budget deficit exceeded 3 percent of GDP since 1999.

    "It must be understood that the audit was conducted by Eurostat and not by our services, as it (Eurostat) had already detected and condemned, in writing, PASOK's practices," he added.

    Meanwhile, the economy minister reiterated that the government intends to give "significant increases" in 2007 to farm-sector pensioners and low-income pensioners.

    Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos also responded sharply to comments made by Papandreou in a recent address.

    "The falsifiers of the economy's true state, those who mortgaged the future of Greece believe that the citizens do not possess a memory and judgment," Roussopoulos said, adding:

    "We understand the need for PASOK and its leader to speak out of line because they lack arguments in the face of positive results by the new government," Roussopoulos said.

    Meanwhile, in addressing an event focusing on the upcoming college students' elections, Roussopoulos stepped up his criticism by referring to a "last-ditch effort by the opposition surpassing all boundaries of irresponsibility". He particularly cited a recent statement by the former foreign minister calling on Greek youth to imitate the example of the youth protesting in France over the week.

    "He's intentionally hiding the fact, however, that the French are protesting against the implementation of a policy that mirrors his pre-election promise in Lavrio to deal with joblessness amongst young people."

    PASOK reaction

    In reaction to the statements by Alogoskoufis and Roussopoulos, PASOK spokesman Nikos Athanassakis stated:

    "Mr. Alogoskoufis and Mr. Roussopoulos continue to lie. The so-called Alogoskoufis-Karamanlis 'audit', as it was done, hurt the economy, the country and added burdens onto the shoulders of Greek citizens. Today, they believe they will be vindicated both personally and politically, by disputing a national success, namely, the country's accession into EMU, insulting the Greek people and its sacrifices..."

    Caption: Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis (second left) announces his ministry's priorities for the coming period during a press conference in Athens last week, March 9, 2006, along with his deputy ministers, from left, Christos Folias, Petros Doukas (second right) and Antonis Bezas. ANA-MPA / M. Marogianni.

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