Politics: PM Papandreou addresses PES summit

Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Saturday "for us, the changes in Greece and Europe are parallel and a common struggle, to enable us to overcome the economic danger here in Greece as well, and for us to offer a prospect to the peoples of Europe for growth and prosperity."

Papandreou and the president of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Poul Nyrup Rasmussen inaugurated the works of the PES leaders summit at the Zappion Hall in Athens and, in parallel, they announced the beginning of the campaign, at European level, on the Socialists' proposals on the Eurobond and the tax on fiscal transactions.

Papandreou underlined that the Greek socialists are contributing and will contribute with all their strength to this common effort and stressed that "of course, we have the great burden of making great changes in Greece, but we are aware that these changes as well have their limits, unless the great changes in Europe take place as well."

Additionally, he said that it is not a crucial moment for Greece only but for all of Europe and stressed that the leaders of the socialist, socialdemocrat and labour parties have an even greater duty since, as he noted, at a time of great changes where Europe is dominated by conservative forces, "we are being called on to have an even stronger and collective voice to be able to express the concerns and the visions of the European citizens."

He pointed out that this voice highlights the great possibilities we have being Europe and stressed that when there is cooperation and common targets crises such as the economic, environmental and energy crisis, as well as the crises in our wider region can be tackled.
Papandreou also criticised the dominant conservative forces in Europe that "are refusing to draw the obvious conclusions on the causes and the intensity of the global economic crisis."

Moreover, he stressed that conservative Europe has shown that instead of utilising the markets as a tool that will contribute to the prosperity of citizens and to growth it has deified them and is calling for the peoples to serve them.

Lastly, Papandreou thanked the leaders of the PES for the solidarity they are showing "to a country and a people making great efforts to change problems, the inheritance of the past and to create a Greece with progressive values, a fair economy and society."

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