Samaras: Economic crisis 'only the tip of the iceberg'

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Wednesday called for a new charter for Greece that will institute a new social contract and reflect the volition of the Greek society, addressing a meeting of ND's committee on Constitutional reform.

"The economic crisis is the top of the iceberg of the crisis of the political system. The post-dictatorship model had gone systemically bankrupt before the threat of economic bankruptcy," Samaras said, adding that the structural and organisational model of the Greek state in the post-dictatorship period, having served the targets of that era, has proved unable to adapt to the new conditions.

"Greece adapted itself to the European environment only on the surface," Samaras said.

He said the crisis the country is currently going through is complex and multifaceted, and potentially dangerous, and cannot be tackled single dimensionally.

ND's proposal does not focus solely on the economic crisis, but extends to the political crisis as well, he said, adding that the revision of the Constitution needs to aim at the heart of the system's ails and create conditions for upsets in all sectors of society.

"With the process for revision of the Constitution, which has begun at ND's initiative, we want to turn the crisis of the political system into an opportunity for a new, bold and forward-looking proposal for Greece to emerge," Samaras stressed.

He added that the revision proposed by ND "should not be in the absence of the Greek society". The country's founding charter needs to be the result of popular collaboration and reflect the volition of the majority of the society. The participational process, Samaras continued, must be a springboard for restoring the deeply wounded relations of the citizen with the political system and its functionaries.

Samaras urged the committee members to "proceed with breaks with the established attitudes, mentalities and personal interests that want only changes that won't change anything to be made".

He stressed that attracting the citizens back to the political life will be effected through their essential, and not typical, participation.

The issues of top priority for the committee, he added, are the role and authorities of the President of the Republic, separation of the executive and legislative authority, the electoral law, the finances of the political parties and MPs, ridding public administration from political party dependence, and state contribution to the growth of healthy private initiative and entrepreneurship.

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