The issue of early general elections, with respect to the local administration polls, closed the previous Sunday, and in this Sunday's second round "we have the ability to elect, on the basis of local government criteria, the most capable, the most worthy, people to serve the citizen", prime minister George Papandreou stressed in an interview with the weekly PROTO THEMA newspaper appearing on Sunday.

Papandreou accused main opposition New Democracy (ND) of attempting to undermine and dispute, without assuming its share of the major responsibility.

He stressed that neither the government nor the country was incapable of reducing the deficit. "We can do it, despite the fact that Eurostat now tells us that the mess left behind by ND is even bigger than we had calculated".

The premier said that the immense effort for reducing the deficit will continue "without new taxes, pension and civil servants' salary cutbacks", but with "major structural changes in the state, the DEKO (public utilities and organisations), the business environment and the country's growth model".

"We are not discussing dismissals. What we want is to uproot the long-standing problems of the clientelistic administration, in the wider public sector. That's the crux, wasteful spending," Papandreou continued.

The premier further said that his government does not fear the country finding itself out of the eurozone "because that is unreal", and stressed: "In 2010 we succeeded in doing something that, for all those who were betting on Greece's bankruptcy, appeared to be impossible -- the biggest reduction in deficit ever made."

On the Memorandum, Papandreou said that "it formalises more than anything else the bankruptcy of a policy that was advanced to the fullest by the preceding government".

"The fact that today we can speak about renegotiation is because we (his PASOK government) proved our credibility. In that context, the matter of extending the repayment period of the support mechanism loan has been put on the table".

Asked to comment on speculation of collaboration governments in the future, Papandreou asked whether there are any in the political system who would want to share the political cost with the government. "If they wanted to help, they could and should have done it from the position that the people have placed them," he said.