ND leader addresses SEV gen. assembly; outlines policy

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, addressing the annual general assembly of the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) on Tuesday, and hours after meeting Prime Minister George Papandreou, again emphasised:
"When we offered consensus to the government they replied with polemics. When we proposed measures to them in order to avoid the worse they replied to us with sarcasm. Today, when they are seeing that their path is leading to a deadlock, they are asking me for consent. To what?"

Speaking of a "memorandum Waterloo", Samaras pinpointed his intentions regarding the points in the Medium-term Fiscal Strategy Programme. He clarified that he will not agree to an increase in tax rates, while he said he would insist on the strategy of utilising the public sector's real estate.

As regards privatisations, the ND leader insisted on this strategy with a growth-oriented and not a solely revenue-generating attitude, stressing that he will not accept the sale of a share package of the Public Power Corp. amid a crashing stock exchange, without the breaking up of the state monopoly. At the same time he made it clear that he will deal a blow at the "peculiar privileges" that were abused by various unions in the public sector.

Referring to the government's tax policy, Samaras spoke of a "tax raid that froze everyone" and noted that he will not consent to this "disaster".

"We agree with the goals: The deficit should be decreased and eliminated. The debt should be checked and de-escalated. However, we do not agree with the recipe that they chose to do this; it was proved that we were right," he said, reminding that ND had disagreed with this policy "mix" before.

Lastly, Samaras focused on the basic axes of the policy he presented last week, which if implemented in its entirety, as he said, would take the country out of the crisis.

EU/ECB/IMF team to meet ND officials on Wednesday

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) officials responsible for economic issues will meet with a visiting EC/ECB/IMF team on Wednesday, it was announced on Tuesday.

The meeting, which was decided at the latter's request, will focus on measures proposed by ND leader Antonis Samaras a few days ago.

According to ND sources, "the move proves the seriousness of Antonis Samaras' proposals which, if implemented in their entirety, will be able to take the country out of the crisis soon."

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