“The government has invested in the sector of development and its coordinated actions have started to give results,” government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said on Thursday, referring to a number of actions undertaken.

He characteristically said that in 2011 the market will be assisted through a 10-billion-euro package, in 2010 the National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA) absorption exceeded all expectations reaching 18.5 pct, while the files of major projects with a budget of 4.65 billion euros have already been submitted to the EU. He also referred to the 380-million-euro programmes in support of green tourism programmes, medium and small sized businesses and young entrepre-neurship.

As regards the rise in unemployment, he said that it is a very alarming phenomenon but it was expected considering that the country is in the middle of a crisis.

Commenting on the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) “economic barometer” results, according to which, six out of 10 respondents have a negative opinion about the decision to ask for the IMF’s assistance, Petalotis pointed out that the government has resorted to a three-party mechanism and referred to the cause that led it to the decision.

Petalotis criticised the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on the occasion of the Internet-backed mobilisation planned for Thursday outside the house of former premier Costas Simitis in Athens, characterising it as “instigated and orchestrated”.