Prime Minister George Papandreou underlined in Parliament on Friday that “the government is not afraid to be close to the Greek people but, on the contrary, has an obligation to do that”.

Moreover, the premier called on Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras to assume his responsibilities and participate in the discussion on a medium-term programme for the country’s economy.

He accused Tsipras of adopting an irresponsible stance and underlined that the government’s efforts are aimed at ensuring a future for the country, protect and utilize the state-owned property and “leave salaries and pensions unaffected”.

Earlier, Tsipras had maintained that the government is “harsh, neo-liberal, and does not have the support of the people”, adding that its “political time has expired and is afraid to face the Greek people”.

Tsipras called on the prime minister “to stop telling beautiful lies to the people and instead tell them the truth about the new tough austerity measures that are being prepared”.

The prime minister accused Tsipras of making the same criticism with the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party without taking under consideration the problems the ruling party of PASOK has inherited as a result of the dead end policy followed by the preceding ND government.

Papandreou stressed that his government is trying to change the country’s course and referred to the creation of the European Support Mechanism that averted the collapse of Greece and other countries.