Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, speaking in Parliament on Tuesday during the debate on the Medium-term Programme, said his party is voting against the Medium-term Programme in its entirety and in a coordinated fashion, "as every serious political organisation must do, because its assessments are untenable, its predictions are conflicting and it is economically ineffective and counter-productive."
Samaras also criticised Prime Minister George Papandreou, accusing him that with his policy "he achieved both socialism and barbarism."
The ND leader called on deputies to reject the "false dilemmas and to vote against the government's deadlocks" and accused the ruling PASOK party of "having a talent in blackmailing the people."
Samaras pointed out that "Mr. Papandreou lately invokes patriotism when he is about to take painful measures. But patriotism means a collective effort so as to make our country better. PASOK remembers patriotism when it is going to blackmail for even worse woes. For us patriotism has a meaning when it speaks the language of freedom, not coercion, and when it opens paths of prospect and hope."
The main opposition leader counter-proposed to the medium-term programme a "creative shock" in the Greek economy combined with balancing social cohesion measures, highlighting the rejection of the medium-term programme by ND as an example of its seriousness and courage to oppose a mistaken policy, both inside the country and in the EU.
Samaras criticised the Greek government for insistence on measures that deepen recession and swell the debt, as well as the EC/ECB/IMF troika for "many mistakes in its assessments" with the main one being its expectations for the amount of tax revenues.
"Those who were in a hurry to take for granted my isolation in the European People's Party are being proved wrong gradually, since today there are reports in the serious European press that recognise the mistake taking place in Greece," he added.
Samaras said that the time for the European recognition of the political arguments of ND is also coming soon, that "it is not only the figures that do not add up, but also Greek society that cannot stand this policy."
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos replied to Samaras accusing him of being "absent from the effort for the salvation of the country" and as having "an impressively conventional speech, built on the traditional antiquated conception that the government is to blame for everything," adding that "Mr. Samaras is holding safety distances, he is thinking on the basis of his party interest, without thinking of the country's growth prospect."