Samaras says can 'modify' debt deal, keep Greece in euro

Conservative New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras declared on Wednesday that his party's priorities were to form a stable government and keep Greece in the eurozone, noting that an administration must be set up immediately after the June 17 polls.

Echoing his rival, leftist leader Alexis Tsipras, who on Tuesday had insisted that a government must be formed on June 18 and no later, Samaras told a press conference that securing Greece's membership of the eurozone was the crucial priority. Overhauling Greece's debt deal, known as the memorandum, was also at the top of his party's agenda, he said. «We will change the memorandum, the relentless recession cannot go on."

He indicated that European leaders were open to renegotiating Greece's debt deal. «Europe is changing, Greece has a chance for a fair negotiation within this climate of change,» he said.

Samaras said ND had set two conditions for joining other parties in a coalition government: securing Greece's position in the eurozone and modifying the memorandum.

Samaras also lashed out at Tsipras for refusing to elaborate on the emergency plan he claims to have drafted for the event that negotiations break down with international creditors. «He says he doesn't want to talk about Plan B as he doesn't want the enemy to know, but what about the people?» Samaras said.

The conservative leader accused SYRIZA of gambling with Greece's future, adding that Tsipras had «broken a world record» by not giving a single statistic in the entire pre-election campaign.

The conservative leader went as far as to connect supporters of SYRIZA to domestic terrorism. «There were cells within SYRIZA who had applauded Koufodinas,» he said referring to Dimitris Koufodinas, the convicted hitman and key member of the disbanded terrorist group November 17.

The conservative leader also pledged to crack down on corruption and trim back privileges for politicians. If there are differences between the income declared and the actual income by politicians, these sums will be seized, he said.

Samaras backed the call of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti for a pan-European guarantee on bank deposits and condemned SYRIZA's opposition to investments.  

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