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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Samaras: Greece cannot endure more measures
  • [02] FinMin interview in Sunday newspaper
  • [03] Condolences for air tragedy

  • [01] Samaras: Greece cannot endure more measures

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras blasted the PASOK government on its handling of the economy, addressing a party Central Committee meeting on Sunday.

    Greece cannot endure more measures -- neither the economy, nor society -- and that is why we may be faced with major changes, Samaras said, adding that his party opposed harsher measures, but also those measures taken that create a "vicious cycle of recession".

    Criticising PASOK, he said that "never has a government managed to make so many mistakes in such a short time, for such foolish reasons of petty politics and with such immediate and painful results".

    It was being proved today that PASOK had no plan other than to defeat ND, Samaras continued, and accused the government of "incompetence mixed with arrogance, double-talk mixed with lack of initiative, and gaffes mixed with contradictory messages in all directions".

    He said the country was facing its biggest crisis ever, which was not a "deficit crisis" but a "public borrowing crisis".

    Up until October, he continued, Greece was one of many EU countries facing a deficit crisis, but in the last few months it was the only eurozone country facing a borrowing crisis. Greece, he added, is the eurozone's weak link and had become notorious.

    Last year, under the ND government, the economy had faced tribulations, but was not brought to its knees despite the mistakes made which, he said, have also been acknowledged by them prime minister Costas Karamanlis himself. The ND government, Samaras continued, had kept control, contrary to the current PASOK government which "lost control, inflated the deficit and then lost time, did not take measures immediately, took harsher measures with a delay, and also shattered the psychology of the markets".

    The ND government had borrowed at interest rates "which we now yearn", Samaras continued, noting that in 2009 the Greek state was borrowing at 4.2 percent interest, while this year the country was borrowing at excessive interest rates while the Greek bond spread has more than tripled.

    He also accused the PASOK government of devastating the taxation mechanism and inflating the deficit.

    On the new taxation bill to be tabled by the government in parliament on Tuesday, Samaras said that ND rejects it in its entirety because it "further strangles the economy, does not effectively reduce the deficits, sends capital away, does not curb tax evasion, kills entrepreneurship, and crushes the middle class and the middle incomes without restoring social justice and working in favor of the weaker strata".

    Turning to internal party issues, Samaras warned that he would not tolerate introversion.

    Samaras also submitted a recommendation for organisational changes to the party, which was approved at the end of the Central Committee meeting.

    High-profile MP and former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, whose relations with Samaras have been tense since he defeated her in the election for a new party leader to replace Karamanlis, did not attend the meeting, while Karamanlis departed the proceedings after Samaras' opening address.

    [02] FinMin interview in Sunday newspaper

    The EU support mechanism is a very important safety net, and it was critical that it be created and concretized, but we hope and believe that Greece will not need to use it, finance minister George Papaconstantinou said in an interview appearing in a newspaper on Sunday.

    No new measure will be needed provided the existing Stability and Development program is consistently implemented, Papaconstantinou added in the interview with the newspaper Realnews.

    Papaconstantinou further said that all the state bond issues have been oversubscribed, while adding that the borrowing interest rates will recede when it becomes apparent that a very serious effort is being made and is yielding.

    The minister also said that a large majority of the Greek citizens are taking part in the effort being made for the country to stand on its own feet, on our own power.

    [03] Condolences for air tragedy

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, the Greek government and political parties expressed shock and condolences over an airplane crash that claimed the lives of the Polish President and officials.

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias sent a telegram of condolences on Saturday to Polish parliament president Bronislav Komorowski on the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a number of officials in an airplane crash.

    "Deeply shocked by the news of the terrible airplane accident that resulted in the tragic loss of the President of Poland, his wife and other eminent Polish officials, I wish to express, on behalf of the Greek people and myself, the most genuine condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims,": Papoulias said in his telegram.

    Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas on Saturday sent a message of condolences to his Polish counterpart Radoslow Sikorski over the crash of an airplane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, the country's central bank governor and other officials.

    "In these difficult moments, I express my deepest condolences and support to the government of Poland, the families of the victims, and the Polish people," Droutsas said in his message.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, in a statement, expressed his genuine condolences to the government and people of Poland over the tragedy of the loss of its President and many other officials and citizens.

    "In these difficult hours, all we Greeks participate in the national mourning of our friend country and stand by the families of the victims," Samaras said.

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis, in a telegram to Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, expressed shock over the tragic loss of the Polish president, his wife and the other Polish officials, and expressed condolences and sympathy to the Polish people and the victims' families.

    Caption: Red and white flowers on the seats in the Polish parliament of the parliamentarians killed when their plane crashed near Russia's Smolensk airport on April 10, killing all people on board, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski. (EPA)

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