Politics: PM addresses Cabinet ahead of EU summit

“The March 25 EU Summit is yet another difficult milestone in the course of our country,” Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday underlined addressing the cabinet meeting.

Papandreou referred to the meetings he had with the political party leaders on Tuesday to brief them on the imminent negotiations in the European Union.

He pointed out that the conservative political forces dominate in Europe and compared the decisions adopted last Friday by the two largest European political parties, the Socialists and the EPP.

PM Papandreou underlined that while the Socialists’ text included all the positions supported by PASOK, as regards Europe and the tough situation faced by Greece and other countries, the EPP-adopted text included only the wish that the programmes implemented by Greece and Ireland will continue their successful course.

He criticised main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, accusing him of supporting the memorandum when speaking abroad and condemning it as catastrophic when addressing the Greek people.

He also referred to the Greek proposal on the issuance of Eurobonds and the imposition of a financial transactions tax that won the European Parliament’s vote.

The premier stressed that the citizens’ strong protests against the system’s dysfunctions are justified and linked the disobedience phenomenon with the people’s discontent.

ND spokesman criticises PM

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis criticised on Wednesday Prime Minister George Papandreou's statements made earlier in the day during a cabinet meeting.

"Mr. Papandreou, during his address to his ministers, instead of coordinating his government, he opted, yet for another time, for attacking the New Democracy party," Mihelakis said in a statement, calling on to the prime minister to answer "if he has anything to say on the 15 per cent increase in unemployment".

The ND spokesman also questioned whether "it is the complete failure regarding the state's incomes that led to the resignation of the Secretary General of the Finance Ministry George Georgakopolos earlier in the day."

Regarding developments in the Mediterranean region, Mihelakis charged that Papandreou "should answer, as Socialist International president, questions regarding his broader political family which includes Kaddafi, Mubarak and Ben Ali."

"For what reasons there has been no clear statement condemning the bloodshed provoked by the Kaddafi regime," the ND spokesman also questioned.

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