PM in Thessaloniki: 'We insist on path of major changes'

Prime Minister George Papandreou, currently on a visit to Thessaloniki for the inauguration of the 76th International Trade Fair (TIF) said on Friday the government insisted on the path of major changes in the country.
"We insist on the path of major changes," he told reporters after a meeting with production sector representatives at the City Hall on Friday.

Papandreou added that "we must make a basic choice: To change" and that "there are two paths."

"The one path is precisely of the major changes in a productive and creative Greece. The other path is, the supposedly easy one, that does not look at problems straight in the eyes but is ultimately irresponsible and brings disaster. We insist on the path of change, the path of the major changes," he noted.

The prime minister also said "we insist on this because this creates stability and opens prospects. Because we know that Greece has great possibilities and prospects. We believe in Greece, in its forces and we shall succeed."

Papandreou termed the discussion with the agencies of Northern Greece and Thessaloniki "very productive", stressing that "the many possibilities that this endowed region has were highlighted once again, in viable growth, green energy, tourism, culture, industry, in a productive human potential that has a great tradition." He added, however, that this region as well "is experiencing, like the rest of the regions of Greece a deep recession and major social problems, as is unemployment."
The prime minister went on to say "it is precisley this transitional stage that we are experiencing, a difficult stage by an economy and a growth that was based on clay feet. It was a dependent economy, clientele, not productive, parasitical" and that "for this, it is necessary for us to make a basic choice: to change."
The premier was accompanied by government vice-president and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Competitiveness Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis, Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas, Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister George Papaconstantinou, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Ragoussis, Agriculture Minister Costas Skandalidis, government spokesman Elias Mossialos and deputy ministers. 
Earlier, the prime minister had a separate one-hour meeting with Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris. 

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