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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou on social security bill

  • [01] Papandreou on social security bill

    Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia", stressed that the ratification of the social security bill "has the character of a vote of responsibility by all the deputies towards Greek society, as well as the next generations."

    Papandreou said that he has confidence in his PASOK party's deputies and called on opposition parties' deputies to vote for the bill as well, leaving behind "petty partisan games" since "the fate of our country is at stake."

    The prime minister made it clear that it is the government's political option that "all salary earners must be secured at the same social security fund, wheher they are working in the public sector, or the private sector", given that is is the "reform that helps the curbing down expenditures and the rationalisation of the system."

    Papandreou insists on his initial statement that "money existed and exists" and clarifies that "it existed but was squandered in corruption, untransparency, the party state, clientele extravagance, interests of all kinds" and "exists, but we inherited a state that did not tax real wealth, because it turned a blind eye here and there. The bitter truth is that the government received an overindebted state, a step before bankruptcy and this necessarily changed out plans."

    He locates corruption at the root of the problem and states once again "we are not at all interested behind which political flag those who succumbed to the temptation of corruption are hiding. We shall not let anyone off."

    Papandreou added that the Greek people's sacrifices "will not be in vain this time" since the government is "on the right path" and reassured that "we shall all pass through difficulties, however, the target is that at the end of the four years every working person, every citizen will enjoy security and rights, that should have been self-evident, but that unfortunately are not until today."

    Lastly, Papandreou categorically rejected the possibility of early elections, saying "no way."

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