Politics: PM says country's default avoided

Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing a marathon informal cabinet meeting on Monday, said the country's bankruptcy has been avoided so far but remains as an "issue at stake", adding that among the institutional changes that will be promoted by his government is also that of the referendum, an issue for which he will give instructions to the relevant minister Yiannis Ragoussis.

Papandreou ruled out, according to reports, once again the possibility of early elections and reiterated his proposal for a consensus of the country's political parties, calling on them "to close the negotiations (with the EC/ECB/IMF troika) together". He also asked for the greatest possible consensus in the voting of the medium-term programme making it clear that he does not intend to ask for a 180 vote majority.

He categorically dismissed scenarios on the appointment of commissioners (in the ministries), placing the blame for the exaggeration of the issue on the media.

"We do not accept and we never accepted the logic of commissioners," Papandreou stressed, adding that "we do not accept anything that will decrease our dignity, our basic sovereign rights, whether it is the vote, or the commissioners or whatever attitudes or demands of a similar character."
He clarified that he had asked from Greece's EU partners "for experts to come in order to apply their know-how in sectors that we are behind."
On a critiacal note, the premier admitted that despite important steps taken by his goevernment "we did not manage to bring to society a new feeling of justice and of democratic accounting." He also gave reason to Greek citizens who "are feeling today that they are paying the price of an outdated system."
"The time has come to go ahead with greater boldness in the big reforms that the country needs," the premier said, adding that these reforms "will not be introduced by any saviour whatsoever, but through democratic procedures."

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