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Politics: Debt 'manageable', PM tells PASOK MPs

Δημοσίευση 27 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 12:47 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Politics: Debt 'manageable', PM tells PASOK MPs
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The government's programme was not based only on Greece's obligation to pay its debts towards its creditors but also its own policies to correct the problems that had led to those debts, Prime Minister George Papandreou told ruling PASOK's Parliametary Group on Wednesday. He emphasised that the country's debt was now manageable.

The government's programme was not based only on Greece's obligation to pay its debts towards its creditors but also its own policies to correct the problems that had led to those debts, Prime Minister George Papandreou told ruling PASOK's Parliametary Group on Wednesday. He emphasised that the country's debt was now manageable.

"The problems were not the fault of the IMF nor the European Commission, with the proviso that the second should have better monitored the previous government," Papandreou noted. He underlined that the EU-IMF inspectors that checked Greece's progress in implementing the terms of the Memorandum for the loans were not trying to 'punish' Greece but had reasons to want the country to succeed.

During his address, Papandreou criticised what he called "conservative Europe" that clung to a blind faith in "an automatic process through markets". The view that there should be a policy concerning markets was not always understood, he added, noting that if Europe came to understand its power it could then play a major role in putting a human face on globalisation.

The Greek premier referred to what he called a "pervasive rage" throughout the world at the huge concentration of power in a banking system burdened with "huge sins" that had harmed both the poor but especially the middle classes.

"Apart from the weakest, PASOK must also support the middle class because this secure social cohesion," Papandreou emphasised, noting that the government was fighting battles in Europe to this end.

He also emphasised that Greece must be prepared to support itself using only its own powers in the case of a possible economic shock from an energy or food crisis.

Replying to the concerns of MPs about their local constituencies and regions, the prime minister stressed that Greece was undergoing one of the most crucial periods since democracy was reinstated in 1974. This would either result in the "dissolution" of society or "we will be the country's reformers," he added.

"We are experiencing the repercussions of the decisions but not yet the positive results of the changes that need time to appear," he asserted.

According to Papandreou, the money that Greece once possessed had been squandered through a doubling of the debt and a lack of growth. He also emphasised the destructive influence of corruption in preventing growth.

Concerning PASOK's upcoming National Conference, Papandreou said that this would centre on the issue of economic growth and development.

On the issue of 'cleansing' politics and dealing with scandals, the prime minister opposed "violent and autocratic solutions" and said that sending people to jail was the work of the courts. He pointed out that PASOK had been the one to demand Parliamentary investigations into various scandals, including that of Siemens, and had ordered a probe into the case when it became a government.

During his address, Papandreou announced a planned series of initiatives on the function of the justice system, political party finances and asset declarations of politicians, the electoral law and clamping down on corruption.

Among others, the prime minister also referred to the occupation of a university building closed for repairs by 237 illegal migrants seeking universal legalisation of all migrants in Greece without legal residence status. Papandreou criticised left-wing parties for organising the occupation of the building, saying that they were abusing university freedoms and triggering "destructive reflexes".