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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: 'PM seeking escape via elections'
  • [02] Gov't spokesman fields barrage of press questions on political developments
  • [03] SYN leader visits OAED

  • [01] Papandreou: 'PM seeking escape via elections'

    The prime minister was collapsing under the weight of the dead ends created by himself and his policies, main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou said on Wednesday while chairing his party's Parliamentary Coordinating organ.

    "Resorting to the ballot boxes will be an admission of Karamanlis' failure and dead ends. It will be an escape via elections," he said in reference to press reports that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was seriously considering elections in a month's time, adding that the alternative of a government reshuffle would do nothing for the real problems of the country nor change the government's catastrophic policy of wasteful spending and lawlessness.

    "We are not interested in the way that Mr. Karamanlis organises his exit, through a grotesquery of public debate between ministers about whether elections should take place or whether elections would be suicide," Papandreou remarked, adding that PASOK defended the public interest and that Greek people were daily becoming more convinced that elections should take place as soon as possible.

    PASOK's leader noted that the government would most likely succeed in getting a two-year extension from the European Commission for reducing the public deficit but this would not do it any good: "The issue is not to get a certain extension, which everyone will get, but what you do with this extension and what policy you follow" he noted, adding that the neoliberal policies followed by ND so far would not succeed in restoring the economy in two or 12 years.

    According to Papandreou, it was all over for the prime minister since "he cannot manage the economic crisis, nor draw up a budget, nor control his party nor run his government. And above all, because he cannot withstand the popular outcry over the economic, environmental, institutional and ethical crisis in Greece, which he received strong and optimistic and is now handing over wounded and exhausted."

    Caption: File photo of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou

    [02] Gov't spokesman fields barrage of press questions on political developments

    The government spokesman on Wednesday fielded a cascade of press questions over the recurring theme of early elections and/or a cabinet reshuffle, as the upcoming state-of-the-economy address by the premier at the Thessaloniki Fair over the weekend more-or-less marks the climax of media speculation regarding political developments in the post-summer period.

    "I have nothing to say in regards to (political) scenarios," was the statement by spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, his leitmotif of the past week or so during regular daily press briefings.

    In again referring to main opposition PASOK, Antonaros again appeared sharply critical, saying he agrees with a statement by PASOK spokesman, namely, of a clash between two political perceptions.

    "On the one hand, there is the perception of petty populism, one of promises to all, the creation of debts and deficits, a perception constantly expressed by (PASOK leader) George Papandreou and his leadership coterie ... Conversely, there is another notion, one of tidying up the economy, which PASOK left in shambles because it had 'cooked' all of the statistics; the notion for necessary reforms, major public works and significant institutional changes, which PASOK said no to all, a view focusing on social contribution, something expressed by the ND government of Costas Karamanlis," he underlined.

    [03] SYN leader visits OAED

    The real quandary the country is facing "is whether we will continue to have a society with thousands of unemployed youths, the hostages of a clientele system, or whether there will be a shield of solidarity with dignified salaries and work," Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday.

    During a visit to the state Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED), Tsipras added that the real problem faced by Greece is not whether the prime minister will call early general elections at this time, or whether early elections will be forced by main opposition PASOK's stance on the Presidential election in March.

    Tsipras stressed that the Left was here, and united, and will provide an outlet and solution for the Greek society through a platform that gives solutions.

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