Prime minister George Papandreou on Thursday urged international media to "tell the whole story" about what is happening in Greece, addressing the 2010 NEWSXCHANGE conference that opened in Athens, organised by international media organisations under the aegis of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in collaboration with the Greek state broadcasting foundation ERT.

 

In the past few months, the information media inflated the existing problems, while several of them engaged in unfair criticism of the Greek people, thus contributing to the creation of negative stereotypes, Papandreou said.

"Your job is to be objective, and my job is to be frank with you," the Greek premier said after reviewing the steps taken by his government, and noted that in October 2009 (general elections) the Greek people had voted for change.

"Our citizens say that we can make the changes in the country, and this gives new impetus to the government," Papandreou continued in reply to questions, stressing that "it is our commitment to change".

 

Papandreou also reiterated that the structural changes, which should have been made years ago, will continue, while noting that last Sunday's local administration elections had shown that Greek society realises the necessity of those changes in order for the country to survive. "Greece is changing quickly, and this will not stop," he added.

"We will not allow the problems to perpetuate. We are looking them straight in the eye and assuming the responsibility to solve them. Eurostat's (upward) revision of the deficit does not change the targets of the Greek to reduce the deficit by 5.5 percent this year," the premier stressed.

Papandreou noted that his government was from the outset faced with three major problems, namely the economy -- which he said turned out to be worse than expected, especially the size of the deficit -- a lack of competitiveness and lack of credibility.

Asked about the crisis in the eurozone and the problems faced by other countries, Papandreou said that Europe has not realised how powerful it can be, stressing that "we must make the markets, which are very useful tools, to work for the societies".

Greece has problems, but it is not responsible for the global economic crisis, the premier stressed, noting that "we appear today to have forgotten the outbreak of the crisis in 2008 with the toxic bonds".