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Government again urges opposition parties to back reforms

Δημοσίευση 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 10:32 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Government again urges opposition parties to back reforms
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Government spokesman George Petalotis on Monday issued a call to Greece's opposition parties and political forces to "rise to the occasion and accept their historic responsibility" by supporting the government's efforts to reform the country.

Government spokesman George Petalotis on Monday issued a call to Greece's opposition parties and political forces to "rise to the occasion and accept their historic responsibility" by supporting the government's efforts to reform the country.

He stressed that changes the problematic structures of the past was a "question of being responsible and saving the country".

"We are waging a battle in which no one is unneeded but instead the entire political world is daily judged for its determination or timidity, its decisiveness or its absence of argument, its sincere or opportunistic intent for the country's progress," Petalotis added.

The spokesman said that Greece would be attending the crucial EU summit in Brussels, where the future structures of the EU would be decided, "armed" with the Greek people's willingness for progressive change and the speediest possible exit from the crisis.

He noted that Greece was showing great dedication to meeting the targets of the Memorandum and that this made Athens stronger on a diplomatic level.

In response to questions, Petalotis said the government was prepared to consider opposition party proposals during the prime minister's meetings on Tuesday with the political party leaders, provided they were compatible with the final goal, which was to overcome the crisis.

Commenting on the refusal of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras to attend the meeting with the prime minister, Petalotis noted that Tsipras would be judged based on his response.

"We always address an open invitation for consensus and chiefly for discussion. Everyone can come to this with their views and every dialogue has its benefits," he added.

He denied that there was an issue of party discipline over the government's omnibus bill, noting that the government favoured consensus and that PASOK MPs were aware of the need for changes.

"Society is for the big changes in public utilities," he added, noting that the huge wages in state organisations could not be tolerated when the public sector was trying to rein in wasteful spending.

Meanwhile, the spokesman strenuously denied and condemned a report in the newspaper "Demokratia" claiming that Petalotis' own associates were receiving wage packets of 6,500 euro a month, accusing it of sensationalism and libel.

According to Petalotis, the paper had actually taken the budget for the running costs of his entire office - including equipment, travel, over-time, legal fees and phone bills - and divided this by the number of staff working there to arrive at that sum. He also emphasised that the amount concerned the budget and not spending that had actually been carried out.

The actual wages paid to his staff ranged between 900 euro and 1280 euro, he added.