Samaras: No consensus to government's econ policy

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras once again ruled out any consensus with the economic policy being carried out by the PASOK government, even if that means the collapse of the government and early general elections, in an interview appearing in the Sunday edition of Eleftherotypia newspaper.

Samaras stressed that ND is prepared for the prospect of early elections and opined that, in such an eventuality, his government will emerge with a clear mandate by the Greek people to implement its integrated program.

He further said that if the government seeks to pass its Medium-Term for 2012-2015 with an increased majority of 180 votes in the 300-member parliament, ND "will not succumb to that blackmail".

"We will not vote for more business shutdowns, more unemployment and more recession. There must be recovery of the economy in order that the sacrifices that have already been made will not go to waste. Without recovery, we will find ourselves in a deep crisis no matter how many measures the government takes. We will not vote for that, nor will we succumb to blackmail," Samaras said, adding that "if the government wants to, let it try it, and it will realise that we are not bluffing".

Samaras further warned that the talk about restructuring of the Greek debt "does not help".

The Greek economy is in a difficult situation, and such disaster-mongering only harm it, the ND leader said, and accused the government of preparing new, harsh measures that the country cannot withstand.

Speaking in Alexandroupolis on Saturday evening, Samaras stressed the need for the forging of a common migration policy with the seal of the European Union.

Samaras said that a common migration policy for the entire EU must finally be forged, otherwise the problem in the Mediterranean, especially now with "the fire that has been lit" in the Arab countries and North Africa.

The main opposition leader said he has spoken with his counterparts from Ireland and Spain and they all agree on the implementation of specific policies, such as FRONTEX, that will tackle the problem "which has immense dimensions".

He said a trend exists in Europe for a common migration policy, given the need to ensure that migrants from such areas as Sudan and Chad, "which are behind the circle of fire in the Arab world and North Africa, will not reach the sea, and from there on to Cyprus, Malta, Italy and Greece".

Samaras tour of Thrace

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Saturday continued his tour of the northeastern Thrace region, where he met with several local officials and business leaders.

"I feel as if a period of abandonment is returning to Thrace; there's a deindustrialisation of the region, a skyrocketing of unemployment and a demographic vacuum, while the government is demonstrating what it has in store for Thrace, at least in terms of town planning: a migrant reception centre. This is unacceptable, Samaras said during a visit to the Rhodope prefecture commercial and industrial chamber in the city of Komotini.

Samaras called for a model and alternative ecological development amid an "open and democratic society". Moreover, he charged that the government is readying a merger process for the region's chambers of commerce.

Earlier, the ND leader was received by Metropolitan Bishop of Komotini Damaskinos, the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace regional Governor Aris Yiannakidis and Komotini Mufti Metso Jemali.

Samaras' two-day tour will conclude with a round of meetings with mayors in the region.

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