Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Thursday again lashed out at Prime Minister George Papandreou, accusing him of “misleading the people” as regards the latter's contacts with the IMF ahead of an eventual EC-ECB-IMF bailout. “Greece needs a restart on all levels," was the ND president's comment.
Addressing a gathering of military veterans at the ND headquarters in Athens, Samaras said the country’s recourse to the IMF's assistance was planned.
“When Papandreou was insisting that '(surplus) money exists' and was declaring that seeking IMF assistance was out of the question, at the same time, he was planning exactly the opposite by secretly negotiating the country’s submission. Everyone who listened to Strauss-Kahn’s statement has no doubts about it. He is saying clearly that the country was under the IMF in just 15 days because of months-long, under-the-table negotiations that had taken place in advance,” Samaras stressed.
He also referred to the updated economic programme to be unveiled by ND on May 12, pointing out that it “takes under consideration the current adverse circumstances, includes well-targeted actions that can be implemented soon with visible results and recommends actions and measures that can pull the country out of the crisis. This is a New Contract that we will propose to the Greek people”.
Commenting on the statements made by Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas that Greece will not claim the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) immediately to avoid putting a stress on the talks, Samaras said “this is a cause of concern. The government refuses to activate an internationally guaranteed right of our country sending the wrong signals to the other party thus leading to negative consequences.”
He underlined that “Turkey’s demand for a 50-50 division is categorically rejected. “We insist that claiming the EEZ will fully guarantee our national interests within the framework of the international law,” he said.
Referring to Turkey’s attitude toward Greece, he underlined that “Turkey continues to provoke and question our national sovereign rights. Its stance is problematic and provocative.”
He characterised the continuation of what he claimed was "secret diplomacy" by the government as “incomprehensible” and added that the “Turkish provocation can only be met with a firm deterrence policy backed by strong, well-trained armed forces and clearly defined ‘red lines’ that will not be crossed under no circumstances, as well as by national policies in Cyprus, the Aegean, the fYRoM 'name issue' and the rights of the ethnic Greeks in southern Albania.”
Samaras underlined that ND is fighting to “restore the part of national sovereignty that was forfeited by the PASOK government when it signed the memorandum”.