Politics: PM: 'Greece relying on its own forces'

Greece hoped for a good outcome and the right decisions at the European Council on March 25 but would deal with the final result without fear, relying on its own forces, Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed in Parliament on Frida

Replying to a question posed by Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis, he warned against succumbing to pessimism that "leads to resignation

Concerning developments in North Africa, including the violence in Libya, he underlined that Greece will be an active presence and a "pole of stability" in the efforts for the 'day after' in the region.

The Greek prime minister stressed that the European Union must adopt a position concerning its presence in the region and its relations with the Arab world, while also preparing for the possibility of an energy crisis due to the uprisings erupting in the Middle East and North Africa.

Concerning criticism voiced by Karatzaferis on economic issues, Papandreou stressed that the government was waging battles both within Greece and abroad against the accumulated debt and that it would be a "difficult transition but to a different Greece".

The prime minister also confirmed the government's political willingness to support the domestic defence industry in reply to another question by Karatzaferis, who stressed the country's unusually high spending on defence procurements had made a large contribution to its excessive debt burden and highlighted the need to have a defence industry in order to also help Greece's diplomacy.

Papandreou said the government's goal was to establish public control with full transparency of the defence industry and the required partnerships. While agreeing that the local defence industry had to be supported and modernised, he also pointed out that the need to make it competitive given its accumulated debts of two billion euro.

The prime minister said the government was currently promoting Greece's defence industry and reported interest in Hellenic Defence Systems. He also stressed that the government wanted "growth and not parasitic prospects, without mediations and middle-men, with transparency and with each decision passing inspection by Parliament".

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