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Politics: PM: Big stake is to create different, better Greece

Δημοσίευση 18 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:13 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Politics: PM: Big stake is to create different,  better Greece
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The country's big stake is to create a different and better Greece," prime minister George Papandreou stressed on Monday, adding that the government's response to this wager is "yes, Greece is changing, will change, and will always be changing", in a greeting to an Information and Communications General Secretariat event for heads of the Greek embassy abroad press offices and directors of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) offices abroad.

The country's big stake is to create a different and better Greece," prime minister George Papandreou stressed on Monday, adding that the government's response to this wager is "yes, Greece is changing, will change, and will always be changing", in a greeting to an Information and Communications General Secretariat event for heads of the Greek embassy abroad press offices and directors of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) offices abroad.

Papandreou recalled that Greece had found itself at a "turning point" at which it had to decide whether to change or not.

The premier explained that the dilemma concerned not only putting the country's fiscal finances in order which, he noted, was absolutely self-evident and was being achieved with sacrifices and efforts by all the Greeks, but also concerned combating the symptom.

The present crisis is an opportunity, and it is also necessary to remedy the ailment, the epidemic and the disaster-mongering that the effort is in vain, that the Greeks are unable to shape their own fate and that "others will decide for us", he added.

"We saved the country from the immediate danger, and it is in our hands to build the Greece of tomorrow with a plan," the premier said, adding that what is sought is "the creation of a radically new model in the direction of social freedom, lawfulness, creativity and progress, with a productive and viable economy, green growth, and a new people-oriented model of collective organisation and operation."

"After the big battle we waged in 2010 to keep our country standing, in 2011 we are working with all our power to create this different Greece," Papandreou said, stressing that "we are now credible in what we are doing because we are doing what we say we will do".

In 2010, he continued, Greece succeeded in not only drastically reducing the deficits of the past, but also, in the space of just a few months, it dared to make and is making big and historical changes.

Papandreou said that the above surprise those who had mistakenly believed in the negative image of the country, stressing that "the true Greece awoke and shouldered its responsibilities".

"We undertook the task of putting our house in order" and of definitively changing Greece, he added.

Papandreou also spoke of Greece's long-standing problems, adding that "that Greece is now finished, regardless of how difficult and painful the transition was".

"That was the Greece that we hurt, and which hurt us, the Greece that undermined the future of our children and even our security, and we are leaving it behind," he said, adding that this reality has created a corresponding picture abroad.

Papandreou further said that the crisis, albeit not in the dimensions it finally assumed, had been clearly coming, and the economy had not been viable, adding that "at a time when everything was changing, not only did we not take care to cover the distance and did not remedy the problems, but, instead, we aggravated the by missing out on opportunities and losing comparative advantages".

This had led to a negative image of Greece and to the point of losing the confidence of its EURO partners and finding itself on the receiving end of provocations, obvious exaggerations to the point of racism, he said, noting, however, that "in all truth, we ourselves opened ourselves up to that, we had completely lost our credibility".

Now, however, "we are changing Greece with every day that passes, we are steadily building a new reality for the Greeks", the premier said, but added that his own efforts and those of his ministers are not enough, given that "we are temporarily in these positions" and that "the strategy must have duration and exceed the political cycle of governments".

Papandreou further stressed that nothing will be achieved if the attitude and operation of the state does not change. "The effort of the political leadership will be in vain if we do not utilise the human potential," he said, adding that the public sector is full of people who want and are able to contribute but who are either being isolated or whose ideas are not being heard.

He called the civil servants the "key" to changing the attitude in the state, and their abilities the "wealth" that must be utilised.

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