Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Friday bashed Prime Minister George Papandreou for his speech, carried live by the state broadcaster, delivered before his Cabinet, characterising the latter's remarks as “an essay out of touch with reality”.

ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis charged that the premier did not have the courage to unveil "new painful measures he plans and postponed their announcement until after Easter".

“Apparently, the fact that the Cabinet met on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic means something. Obviously, he feels that his government is sinking. The country will not go down with them,” he said.

Mihelakis said the prime minister spoke about “a 'digital school' when schools are being shutdown; better operation of hospitals when for the first time hospitals are forced to suspend their operation; new jobs when unemployment is 15 pct and rising; a social rights charter when the social state was abolished in the past 18 months; a road map when he does not say where he is going; a revolution in taxation justice when indirect taxes affect mostly the weaker incomes; a new election law when local government became a 'guinea pig' after the imposition of Kallikratis reform plan, which is already collapsing. Apparently he was talking about another country.”

In an unrelated matter, the main opposition party strongly condemned the violence against Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Thursday night, during an event hosted by the ruling PASOK party in northwest Athens’ Agii Anargiri district. ND also condemned the violent incidents targeting distinguished foreign visitors, like Nobel laureate James Watson in the western city of Patras.

On the anti-landfill protests in Keratea, eastern Attica, Mihelakis accused the government of opting against a dialogue with the local residents.

The ND spokesman also referred to the initiatives undertaken by the party on European level as regards Turkey’s intention to build a nuclear plant in the earthquake-prone Akkuyu district.