Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras outlined his party's proposals for exiting the crisis and severely criticised the PASOK government of 'sinking the country into a vicious circle of recession' without a way out, and for opting for the Memorandum, during an address to the Society of Senior Business Executives on Thursday evening.

Outlining ND's plan for "exiting the crisis through recovery and growth", Samaras said that first of all recession needs to be tackled with measures of zero or minimal fiscal cost.

Second, measures are needed to ensure liquidity, with the priority on the state's payment of the money it owes to enterprises.

Third, Samaras continued, a major tax reform is necessary, while the fourth step needed is gradual reduction of social security contributions, given that the non-salary employment cost in Greece is the main obstacle to competitiveness.

The fifth step is to dare to go ahead with all the real structural changes that will disencumber the Greek economy and eliminate bureaucracy, while the sixth step is to boost entrepreneurship instead of punishing it.

The seventh and final step is to introduce branch developmental programs, Samaras added.

The ND leader said the above steps were indicative and outlined a three-tier strategy comprising a simultaneous tackling of the deficit and recession in order to truly and speedily reduce the deficit itself and to halt the devastating impetus of the deficits-debt that is out of control today.

He said ND was not calling for a halt to the battle to contain the deficit, but that this should be attempted in a 'targeted' manner, not through "vertical" cutbacks and "horizontal" tax raids.