The international economic crisis, combined with Greece's own chronic weaknesses and long-standing problems and harmful policies and practices of preceding years, brought the country face-to-face with the biggest threat it has experienced in recent decades, that of default," he said.
In a written message on the 37th anniversary of restoration of democracy in the country after the collapse of the 7-year dictatorship, Papandreou said that: "Over the past 21 months we have all together been working hard to exit the crisis but also to reverse the long-standing problems and weaknesses that brought us here: To restore our autonomy, our dignity and, above all, the prospects for our future and the future of the following generations."
"We have the strength to succeed. And the struggle has already borne the first fruits. Step by step we are regaining our credibility, our strength and our autonomy, to rid ourselves of lenders and dependencies".
Now, he said, is the hour to create a stronger and more substantial democracy in Greece, freeing the citizens and the creative forces of the country, implementing everywhere the principle of transparency and creating a just state with equal opportunities and rights for all its citizens.
"We still have a long way ahead of us, but we are moving forward. History has shown that when we stand united, overcoming differences and disagreements, and rally together in a common cause, no obstacle is insurmountable and no sacrifice goes to waste," Papandreou stressed.
The premier expressed certainty that this collective effort will lead to the creation of a better and more substantial democracy, which will be the legacy to the coming generations.