ND criticism on economy

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis on Thursday accused Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou of “setting off insecurity in the economy and systematically undermining the psychology of the market”.

He said Papaconstantinou makes conflicting statements as regards the measures set to be implemented and the time of the country’s return to international markets, stressing that he “has no compass”.

Moreover, he rejected that the unemployment benefit should depend on the financial situation of the recipient, stressing that it is reciprocal in nature and does not constitute a social benefit. Mihelakis also expressed opposition to regulations that target the rights of children of large families.

Referring to the situation in Social Insurance Foundation (IKA) branches and services, he said it is “in a state of dissolution and is responsible for the ordeal of tens of thousands of people; a situation that constitutes an insult to human beings”.

Mihelakis denied that ND leader Antonis Samaras foresaw elections based on statements he made on Wednesday and rejected a proposal made by Democratic Alliance’s Dora Bakoyannis (a former ND MP), suggesting that political parties should reach an agreement on specific points to take country out of the crisis. “There is a chaos between us; an abyss called the memorandum,” Mihelakis stated.

Finally, as regards the situation at the national news agency ANA-MPA, he said ND has long stressed that the agency’s “plurality is being attacked”, while its “prestige is being hurt”. He also referred to the high-profile resignation this week of the long-time ANA-MPA managing director. The spokesman underlined that ND's stance on the issue is being vindicated by the stance adopted by the Athens Journalists' Union (ESIEA).

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