Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, on Thursday blamed Prime Minister George Papandreou for the failed outcome, on Wednesday, of talks for a national salvation government and called for elections once again.
"Elections that we are calling for, will take place, not because we are calling for them, but because (the ruling) PASOK is being dragged by itself to elections by its contradictions or by its guilt or by both. PASOK cannot rule, the people must provide the solution now. PASOK is being torn apart and is collapsing, we are remaining standing and we are uniting the people. The people will be making their choice soon and will make the leap to a new era of Democracy," Samaras said while addressing his party's parliamentary group.
Samaras went on to say that "yesterday, Mr. Papandreou proposed to me to support a national salvation government. I saw it as a historic opportunity for all of us to go to negotiaste together the restarting of the Greek economy, which will permit Greece to be consistent with its commitments and for the creditors to get their money."
The ND leader also said that "I saw it as a historic opportunity and proposed to Mr. Papandreou for us to go for a renegotiating of the memorandum and of the mid-term programme. Papandreou did not refuse the proposal for renegotiating, on the contrary. Then, I stressed to him that he cannot be prime minister in such a government, because he has lost the confidence of society and of the market and that we must find another person of mutual acceptance."
Samaras added that "he accepted this as well. Shortly afterwards we learnt from the media that he proposed it to me himself. It does not matter who proposed it. What matters is that Mr. Papandreou was accepting to resign."
Samaras added that a few hours later he notified him that this initiative cannot go ahead. He himself rejected what he had proposed, or what he himself had accepted.
"In the end, Mr. Papandreou backed down because he did not withstand the pressures from inside his party by those who are clinging to power and became their prisoner. And so the common initiative for the salvation of Greece turned in a few hours into the agonising salvation of the pasok power," the ND leader also said.