Athens.- Prime Minister George Papandreou called for national rallying together while speaking in Nafplio on Friday, at a meeting with local authorities and agencies of Argolida prefecture. He stressed that everyone, including the opposition parties, local government, healthy private enterprise and each citizen must contribute to society’s demand to save the country.
George Papandreou will be chairing an expected cabinet meeting on Monday at which the medium-term programme will be discussed. According to reports, however, final decisions will not be taken and the package will not be closing in its entirety since negotiations with the “troika” have not been completed. The negotiations will continue as of Wednesday when the creditors’ representatives will be returning to Athens.
This does not apply, however, to the sector of privatisations, where decisions are expected to be taken. Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou might also be announcing more privatisations and the appointment of new privatisation advisers. The framework of the prime minister’s discussions with opposition party leaders is also expected to be discussed at the cabinet meeting.
Papandreou’s meetings with party leaders are expected to take place on Tuesday and will be held with each one separately. All political leaders with the exception of Communist Party SG Aleka Papariga accepted the invitation.
According to a MARC poll for ‘Ethnos tis Kyriakis’ newspaper, six out of 10 respondents said an effort must be made for consensus between the two mainstream parties, according to an opinion poll carried out by the MARC company for the Sunday newspaper “Ethnos tis Kyriakis”. More specifically, 62.8 percent agree and 32.2 percent disagree.
Asked whether main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras must consent with the government or insist on the political proposal he has made, 51.9 percent said that he must consent and 37.6 percent that he must insist on the proposal he presented at the Zappion Mansion.
Moreover, 35.7 percent of ND voters request consent from Samaras. However, 77.3 percent call on the government to adopt some of Samaras’s proposals as against 14 percent who call on the government to insist on its programme.
Lastly, 74.1 percent of ruling PASOK party voters call on the government to adopt proposals by Samaras, while 71.6 percent do not want early elections in contrast to 26.2 percent who have a different view.
PM Papandreou gives interview to ‘Ethnos tis Kyriakis’ newspaper
Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper “Ethnos tis Kyriakis”, stressed that he is “determined for the country’s salvation”, a few days before crucial decisions on the economy’s four-year programme.
Papandreou admits that the discussion with partners “is not easy” as to the way of funding the economy in 2012, but stresses that “when the wager is to save the country, this is the only red line.”
The prime minister further said “he has given no one the right to indicate elections” and pointed out that he has proved that he does not fear the political cost, nor does he seek “an alibi and scapegoats.”
As regards the medium-term programme, he spoke of “serious and systematic negotiating, while the question of restructuring is out of the question.
Lastly, referring to the country’s relations with Turkey, Papandreou said they have reached a crucial crossroads and that “the time of truth is arriving. The time that the credibility, will and determination of each of us will be judged. And Greece must be and is ready for every eventuality. Have no doubt.”
Main opposition New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras, speaking in an interview with the newspaper “Proto Thema”, underlined his position that he will not vote for a second memorandum and not even for the medium-term programme.
“I will not vote for any commitment on a mistaken and deadlocked policy,” he said on the possibility of voting for a possible second memorandum and stresses that “we have no objection to assuming commitments to decrease the deficit and control the debt. We do not disagree with the targets of fiscal restructuring but with the proved mistaken recipe that they imposed on us.”
Samaras further said that he will not vote for the medium-term programme either “because it does not include recovery measures” and adds that “cutbacks without recovery cause worse recession, more padlocks and greater unemployment” and that “we want a decrease in extravagance combined with recovery.”
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga has not accepted the invitation by Prime Minister George Papandreou for a meeting between them, according to an announcement by the party’s press office on Saturday afternoon.
According to the announcement, KKE “believes that there is no topic for the specific meeting, from the moment that the positions of the government and of KKE are both known and diametrically opposite.”
It further says that KKE rejects both the so-called medium-term programme that the government has shaped with its allies and its overall policy. In any case, George Papandreou stated that he will not take even a step back from the targets he has set with the troika, the announcement added.
Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou, speaking to PASOK party officials in the city of Lamia and replying to a series of questions in a procedure lasting over four hours, stressed that “we are at war.”
The minister termed the effort that must be made a matter of “life or death” and, referring to the crisis in particular, noted that “it is a fiscal crisis, a crisis of competitiveness for the country, a crisis of credibility and a crisis of principles and values. We must tackle all these crises together and immediately.”
Diamantopoulou also stressed that “we do not have time and we do not have money. We are being called on to take many and great decisions. We are being called on, as a party, for dilemmas that are relentless.”