FinMin calls for opposition assistance to exit crisis; meeting with Samaras

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos called for the assistance of opposition to bring the country out of the ongoing crisis, speaking after a meeting with main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Tuesday at the latter's office.
"There are always many and fertile fields in which there is a convergence of views," the government vice president and finance minister said, adding that "everything depends on the frank, honest and open cooperation between government and opposition".
"We are open -- and I want to hope that this is also the position of the main opposition -- to a nationally responsible stance, which is the basis for consensus. We are not managing a party cause but a very big national crisis that demands rallying together, with honest cooperation of all the forces," Venizelos said.
The 70-minute meeting, which Venizelos had requested on Monday, took place between the two leaders only, without any associates present.
ND sources said only that Venizelos briefed the main opposition leader on all the economic matters concerning Greece, without Samaras taking any positions.
Venizelos said he and Samaras had an "extensive and substantive" discussion "in a very good climate and on all the issues".
The finance minister said he has asked to brief the opposition on the discussions with the EC-ECB-IMF troika and the country's macroeconomic matters and fiscal targets, on the immediate priorities and the execution of the budget, as well as the privatisations, the new taxation system, the new civil servants' salary scale and the reserve labor.
Specifically, regarding the taxation system, Venizelos said a field of consensus was opening up so that there may be a uniform national taxation system, clarifying that discussion will take place in the relevant parliamentary committee.
Earlier, Venizelos met at the ministry with Bank of Greece Gov. George Provopoulos and representatives of major domestic banks.
The meeting focused on the issue of liquidity in the domestic economy and developments in the banking system.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) assessed that "consensus between PASOK and New Democracy, which existed on all basic issues, is developing, deepening and becoming more aggressive towards the people," commenting on Tuesday's meeting between ND leader Antonis Samaras and Venizelos.
KKE stresses that "in the new tax raid against working people and low and medium levels they agree as well, so that the tax exemptions will become bigger for the big businessmen, as well as on the implementation of the anti-labour measures of the memorandum and the medium-term programme."
The Coalition of the Left (SYN) assessed that Tuesday's meeting between Venizelos and Samaras aims at the creation of a climate of consensus, adding that their target is also the joint management of the crisis and social bankruptcy, which is being produced by the policy of the memorandum and the medium-term programme.
The party stressed that "realising the rapid decrease in citizens' confidence towards them, which they consider, justifiably, responsible for the present deadlocks, the government and ND are seeking formulas of joint governance and the manipulation of the swelling social displeasure and popular protest."

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