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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-24

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK leader bashes government policy

  • [01] PASOK leader bashes government policy

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, on a four-day tour of Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace, on Sunday charged that "no one any longer believes" prime minister Costas Karamanlis, addressing a rally in the town of Toxotes in Thrace. Commenting on announcements earlier in the day by Karamanlis on the establishment of a National Pension, Papandreou said that "his commitments in 2004 lacked credibility, so do his promises today".

    Papandreou said that the prime minister had today, after nearly four years in office, remembered the poorer Greeks, while during those years he had detracted 1.5 billion euro from the poorer through indirect taxes, while he gave one billion euro annually to the large businesses through tax exemptions.

    "Today, the Greek people know, and tomorrow they will vote for credibility and a just society," he said.

    Speaking earlier in the day in Eleftheroupolis, Papandreou said that the large turnout of local citizens for his address, despite the heatwave, indicated that the people were fed up with ND's foolery.

    "The Greeks are tired of hearing false words," Papandreou said, and accused the prime minister and the government of not respecting transparency and modesty, and the prime minister personally of "not daring to speak about the farmers' income".

    On the structured bonds affair, Papandreou said that Karamanlis, 117 days since the issue came to light, still refused to release the relevant contracts. "He fears the light and the truth, rejects (the establishment of) a fact-finding commission (into the affair), but speaks of transparency".

    He said that the salaries of the DEKO (public utilities and organisations) governors had doubled, while at the same time the government refused increases to pensions.

    Papandreou further referred to the great importance of the Egnatia Motorway, stressing that "the large projects bear PASOK's signature".

    The PASOK leader commenced his tour on Sunday morning in Amfipolis, Serres, where he visited the local archaological museum.

    On Saturday, addressing a rally in Asprovalta, near Thessaloniki, Papandreou named, for the first time, national economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis and deputy minister Petros Doukas and finance ministry secretary general George Kouris as the "masterminds" of the bonds scandal.

    He also accused the government of, although claiming to have inherited empty coffers (from the preceding PASOK government), nevertheless finding the money to purchase, at high prices, the company Germanos and the Turkish Finansbank, transactions from which "some profited, but the Greek taxpayer suffered losses".

    Papandreou further charged that while the banks had doubled their profits, Karamanlis reduced the taxation on their profits and making a 'gift' arrangement in the banks' social insurance matter, burdening IKA (Social Insurance Foundation) wioth more debts.

    Reviewing the result of three years of economic management by the ND government, Papandreou said that "they are leaving behind poverty, high prices, unemployment and insecurity".

    Papandreou also criticised ND's new programme, which he warned would entail a larger increase in indirect taxes, facilitation of dismissals, abolition of the collective labour agreements and minimum salary, imposition of tuition at the state universities, increase in the retirement age, increase in social insurance contributions, and reduction of the pension as a proportion of the salary.


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