PM interview with Kathimerini: 'Greece will not go bankrupt'

"Greece will not go bankrupt," Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed in an interview printed in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Kathimerini", adding that the government was currently in the process of trying to find a long-term solution to make Greece's debt manageable.
"In this difficult and complicated negotiation there is no room for irresponsible voices that cultivate fear, bet on failure and distort the truth," he added.
In view of Thursday's extraordinary Eurozone summit meeting, he underlined that the interests of the country and its citizens would be a "red line" that would not be crossed.
"There remains the aim of ensuring the smooth functioning of the state, the payment of wages and pensions as normal, the protection of deposits," he stressed.
"We, as a country, have taken the necessary decisions no matter how difficult they were. It is now time for Europe to make its own decisions," he added.
During the interview, the prime minister ruled out the prospect of snap elections, given that the country was facing a crucial battle, and criticised those propagating rumours of elections at the present time for acting irresponsibly and wanting to drag the country into "dangerous developments".
Referring to main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, meanwhile, Papandreou asserted that ND's leader "had the luxury to engage in irresponsible politics".
He also dismissed what he called "conspiracy theories" and stressed that those behind them were refusing to understand that Greece must change. "Publicly, and not behind the scenes, I talk with everyone in order to promote the country's interests," he underlined.
Some people had resorted to doubting his patriotism when in fact, he had shouldered the sins of others so that the country would not have to live through a tragedy, he complained.
Papandreou promised to be merciless in prosecuting instances of corruption, such as the impunity of those owing huge sums to social insurance funds, the corrupt soccer circuits and the illegal trade in fuel. He also stressed that without fighting tax evasion, the country could achieve nothing.
On the referendums being planned by the government, he denied that these were just a communications gimmick and said they would lead to new democratic conquests for the citizens.
He also stressed that he would not put up with attacks on "the most basic institutions" and stressed that "violence breeds violence".

ND reaction

"When Mr. Papandreou says he is governing responsibly, what does he mean? Does he consider a responsible policy one where he is absent for 15 months from every negotiation, and that he told no one in Europe that the Memorandum would sink the country into recession?" main opposition New Democracy spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said later in the day, adding:
"Does he (Papandreou) consider a responsible policy to blackmail, saying either the midterm programme or default, and then coming back after a few days and thrusting the country into the unknown by citing the issue of a selective default, and trying, simultaneously, to ameliorate (such a prospect)?" Mihelakis added.

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