Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party lashed out at the government on Tuesday, again referring to the issue of salary cuts in the period 2010-2011-- as presented by a Bank of Greece (BoG) -- report, while calling for responsible information on the government’s intentions in the economy.

As regards a hastily announced legislative initiative on the sale of public property, ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said this is hypocritical, because “the loan contract signed by the government gives the right to our creditors to proceed with the sell-off of public property”.

Responding to a question on a commentary referring to the sell-off of public property, signed by ND leader Antonis Samaras’ advisor Chrysanthos Lazaridis, he pointed out that Lazaridis’ words were misinterpreted and clarified that the latter referred to the assessment of the public property in order to be utilised.

Commenting on a press report suggesting that the liberalisation of the energy market leaves open the likelihood for Turkish companies to supply the Greek islands with electricity, he pointed out “the issue needs further investigation and ND MPs will submit a tabled question to Parliament”.

As regards media reports alleging that Russia will abandon the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project, he said the issue is very serious and requested official information.

Clash between gov’t, ND on public property exploitation issue

“The exploitation of public property for the purpose of collecting 50 billion euros is not a target set by the memorandum because it goes beyond the memorandum period, which ends in 2013," Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou stressed on Wednesday, speaking in parliament.

Furthermore, he said such goals, even within the framework of the memorandum, "are not as binding as other goals such as, reducing the deficit to 17 billion euros by the end of 2011.”

Papaconstantinou’s comment that on July 7, 2010 main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras urged the government to include the revenues from the exploitation of public property in the memorandum obligations prompted the response of ND, through its parliamentary spokesman Manolis Kefaloyiannis, who categorically denied that Samaras ever raised a memorandum issue.

Meanwhile, main opposition New Democracy (ND) foreign affairs sector head Panos Panagiotopoulos appeared in favour of the exploitation of the public property, speaking to an Athens private radio.

Panagiotopoulos stressed that ND never spoke about selling-off public property, “instead it spoke in favour of the exploitation of public property…by utilising all techniques and practices available internationally, including long-term leasing”.

He characterised the government’s stance as hypocritical and troika’s stance as unacceptable.