Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the government, accusing it of oligory and incompetence in managing the projects funded under the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF). Samaras said that he has in vain been trying, for the past 20 months, to convince the government to move ahead with the NSRF projects, while he also accused the government of immobilizing the mechanisms, instead of activating them, and for having 'forgotten' for many months to even designate the relevant secretary general.
"In a difficult period for the economy, a sum of 18 billion euros remains provocatively inactive," Samaras said, accusing the government of preferring to cut salaries and pensions and leaving unexploited a real opportunity for jump-starting the Greek economy.
He said that it had been necessary for the EU partners to point this out to the government for it to finally mobilise, and noted that immense loss has resulted from that delay.
Calling on the premier to take a stance and assume his responsibilities, Samaras questioned who is to blame for this "provocative indifference", and: "Who will give account, Mr. Papandreou. No one?"

Development ministry counters ND criticism citing OECD report on NSRF absorption rates

Replying to criticism from main opposition New Democracy on Tuesday concerning absorption of National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) funds, the development, competitiveness and shipping ministry said the main opposition party was suffering from "confusion".
It replied to ND's accusations of "negligence and ineptitude" by citing the annual Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report on Greece published earlier the same day that "welcomed recent achievements in the direction of a faster absorption of EU structural funds".
"It is unfortunate but it seems that there is confusion within ND, perhaps because the disaster scenarios on which they have largely supported their opposition tactics are failing to be verified," the ministry countered.
The OECD report urged Greece to continue the good work that helped lift organisational and other obstacles to the absorption of Community funds.