The policy followed for two years by him as prime minister was defended by George Papandreou from the podium of the National Council of PASOK, arguing in favor of his decision to initiate the procedures for electing a new president in PASOK after the PSI and the signing of the new loan agreement . Specifically, he proposed the election of the new leadership before the general election: "Estimating elections in late April, the new leader can be elected by March. We are preparing a conference before the elections and our regular conference in June. Anything else would be damaging on a national level. I do not intend to consent to any proposal. All should speak and assume their responsibilities. We cannot conceive putting selfishness and personal ambition  ahead of the national interest. Abandoning the principles of the movement in favour of our 'positions' will be vain and pointless. "