Gov't on economic crisis and Strauss-Kahn arrest

Government spokesman George Petalotis on Monday rejected arguments that the EU-IMF Memorandum was responsible for Greece's economic crisis, stressing that the blame lay mainly on the previous government's failure to promptly take measures to guard against it. According to Petalotis, the crisis would have occurred anyway but the use of false economic figures had meant the country was unable to respond in the right way.
"We could have avoided the Memorandum and not entered the crisis unprotected and happy," he told reporters.
While stressing that the government was neither complacent nor triumphant, he went on to point to recent improvements in major economic figures, such as a decrease in inflation to 3.9 percent in April, a gradual levelling off of the recession to 4.8 percent of GDP in the first trimester of 2011 from 7.4 percent of GDP previously, and a  35 percent increase in exports during the first trimester of 2011 relative to the same period in 2010.

Asked about the impact that the arrest of IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn will have on Greece, Petalotis said that Greece's cooperation with the IMF was institutional and based on policies, not people.
"A personal contribution may play some role but the Strauss-Kahn affair will not have any repercussions on the negotiations Greece is carrying out," he added.

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