Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis on Monday cited newspaper reports in the Dec. 11, 2009 issues of two Athens dailies that referred to contacts between Prime Minister George Papandreou and IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, which had taken place at the time in an effort to underline that they were not made in secrecy.

The newspaper reports in question referred to statements made then by the government spokesman as regards the premier’s contacts with Strauss-Kahn and European leaders.

Concerning the French television network Canal+ documentary, due to be broadcast next month, which apparently contains footage in which Strauss-Kahn mentions that he was approached by the Greek premier and asked whether Greece might seek the IMF assistance, Petalotis stressed that nobody knows yet what exactly the IMF head says in the documentary.

Petalotis stated that the government was seeking a European solution from the start, adding that in the beginning it was difficult to obtain it as a result of the huge credibility deficit the country inherited from the preceding New Democracy (ND) government. He said that the contacts Papandreou had with Strauss-Kahn “were exploratory discussions for the purpose of meeting our loan needs and not negotiations,” adding that the moves made “were a patriotic duty to prevent the country from going bankrupt”.

“It was then when the government was discovering the size of the crisis day-by-day,” he said and underlined that it was totally reasonable and necessary for the premier to have contacts with the IMF head and all the EU partners.

The government spokesman strongly criticised main opposition New Democracy (ND) accusing it of “hypocrisy” and stressed that the government never hid anything.

KKE SG on PM and IMF

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, commented Monday on a report in Sunday's edition of the newspaper "Kathimerini" according to which Prime Minister George Papandreou had secretly asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to intervene in order to bail out Greece in December 2009.

"I think that Mr. Papandreou had decided long before the elections and long before he assumed governance. He was saying that 'money exists' precisely to justify himself afterwards that they gave him false data and therefore to justify the deliberate resorting to the troika".