ND admits existence of 'non-paper' from PM to Samaras

Main opposition New Democracy spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis on Thursday admitted the existence of a document that he said was presented to ND leader Antonis Samaras by Prime Minister George Papandreou during a private meeting they held before the political leaders' council.
Mihelakis denied the existence of a letter from the prime minister, saying that the unofficial document had merely listed those proposals made by ND that the government had either already implemented or was planning to implement, as well as others it was prepared to examine.
He clarified that Samaras had not made by response in writing and was unwilling to reply to questions about the possibility of another meeting between Papandreou and Samaras, or a joint committee of the two main parties.
Regarding a statement made by French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who urged Greece to follow the example of Portugal, Mihelakis noted that ND's 'Zappion II' economic programme called for things the EU had agreed to in the case of Portugal and Ireland but had not agreed to in the case of Greece.
He also noted that there was no comparison with Greece, Portugal and Ireland since the Memorandum for Portugal had made provisions for pensions, reforms, new jobs, measures to promote growth and to reduce employer contributions.
The spokesman further noted that the Memorandum for Portugal had been first discussed by the country's political forces while in Greece "the government presented it as an accomplished fact without having negotiated its terms or even had most of its ministers read it".
He repeated that the Memorandum for Greece was a proven failure, serving to sink the economy into recession and leading to ever harsher measures and even deeper recession.
Asked to comment on a statement by Eurogroup chair Jean-Claude Juncker during a teleconference between eurozone finance ministers on Thursday, ND's spokesman stressed that the main opposition agrees with the basic goals of the programme but not the policies for achieving them.
"We agreed with the basic parameters of the targets but we do not agree with continuing the same provenly mistaken recipe," he emphasised, saying ND wanted a renegotiation of the policies.
Replying to criticism from the EU-IMF troika that ND's proposals were not realistic, he noted only that the troika was seeking "immediate results" and noted that no proposal for any country was able to bring immediate results.
"Our proposal, however, is necessary condition for kickstarting the economy and through this bring in increased revenues. We will not have short-term but medium-term significant results," he stressed, adding that the additional taxes were deepening the recession, restricting the taxable matter and leading to a dead-end.
Asked to comment on the repeated statements by EU officials urging ND to strive for consensus in Greece, Mihelakis said that none of these made consensus a condition. "We do not consider the struggle lost. We are fight and will continue to fight in order to convince everyone of our positions," he added.

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