Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday called on his ruling PASOK MPs and the Greek people to give an "overwhelming national response" to those who question the country and its Eurozone membership.
Addressing his party’s Parliamentary group, Papandreou stressed that now is the time for Europe to prove that it exists and has the ability to defend the euro.
He said that abiding by the July 21 Euro-zone leaders' decisions is imperative and stressed that the efforts of the past two years should not go to waste, now that “we have entered the final stretch”.
Papandreou repeated that implementation of those decisions and the implementation of reforms will produce a primary surplus in 2012, expressing certainty that PASOK’s Parliamentary group “will rise to the occasion”
He said that in 2009 the primary deficit was more than 24 billion euros, while in 2010 it dropped to 11.2 billion. “If the goals are met in 2011 it will be 1.8 billion euros, while in 2012, if we meet out commitments, we will have a primary surplus of 3 billion euros and debt will be lighter,” the prime minister said.
He stressed that the July decisions will have to be supported by all Eurozone countries, pointing out that Europe is faced with a systemic crisis while Euro-skepticism is on the rise.
“All obstacles will be overcome by our determination,” he stressed, pointing out that “there are certain ones who want Greece out of the Εurozone and, at the same time, there many who bet on the country’s political and economic failure”. He also said that “there are others who have taken their money out of the country and want its bankruptcy or exit from the Eurozone.”
He said that there is no room for compromise in meeting the goals set, characterizing them as very ambitious.
Referring to the resistance with which the government is met, Papandreou stressed that other political forces have adopted a “populist stance”, while trade unions also react and the public administration sector is not as quick as it should have.
The prime minister pointed out that speculation over Greece’s exit from the Eurozone have affected banking institutions and investors, stressing that such an atmosphere would have had an impact on any country.
Finally, he called on his party's MPs not to allow anyone “of those waiting in the wings” to determine political developments in the country, repeating that elections will be held in 2013. He again criticised the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, saying its proposals “lead to the country’s exit from the Εurozone”.
Invoking a remark by former Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis, the prime minister said "even the security and safety of the country is at risk and this is a message that must pass to society."
He further said, in reference to a relevant agreement between Greece and Estonia, that there shall be interstate agreements for technical aid to Greece, in whatever sectors are necessary, with various countries.
"We are experiencing a transitional period and during this period we need the support of our partners, so as to be able to stand on our feet, Papandreou said, adding that "the troika, even if we have different beliefs or even world theories, wants us to succeed."
Referring to Sunday's decision by the Cabinet, on the contribution, through the PPC bills, the prime minister said "the measure that we are proposing to be ratified in Parliament, has all the guarantees of the biggest possible social justice."