“The crucial question is not the size of the ‘haircut’ but how the Greek economy will exit recession and produce primary surpluses to be able to stand on its own feet,” main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras said on Thursday, in comments regarding the Eurozone loan agreement for Greece.
“Everything depends on one thing, namely, setting economic recovery as a priority and for this to happen the policy implemented needs to change. Not change the deficit reduction goal but change everything that blocks the road to recovery, like taxation raids and horizontal cuts,” Samaras said.
“ND will continue to say ‘no’ to the mistake,” Samaras stressed and maintained that “the cycle has run its course for this government”.
Samaras focused his criticism on the fact that the decision reached clearly proves that the government policy was a mistake, leading to a dead end, and he underlined that based on how things have turned out “it appears that this decision was inevitable”.
“The country’s debt in 2020 will be 120 pct of GDP, equaling the 2009 debt before the memorandum,” he said, adding that this prediction leaves no room for celebrations on behalf of the government.
“No reference is made to economic recovery, therefore, the mistake remains and is being prolonged,” Samaras said.
Referring to the “haircut”, he emphasized that the debt reduction will be less than 100 billion euros because the debt will be augmented as a result of the recapitalization of the banks. He also underlined that nothing specific has been said about the fate of the social insurance funds, an issue of major importance that concerns the pensions of millions of Greeks. “They say that they are guaranteed. How and by whom,” he asked.
Samaras said that there is vagueness on how the credibility of the new bonds will be achieved and as regards the extent of the voluntary participation of the private sector. Referring to the impact the decision will have on the Eurozone, he said that it is obvious that the EFSF is not reinforced enough to handle the pressures exerted by speculators on the secondary market.
He made a special reference to the issue of national sovereignty stressing that “it should be safeguarded”. He added that “we have no reason to hand it over to anybody,” and stressed that this is forbidden by the Constitution and the European treaties.
ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis commenting on the permanent presence of troika (EC-ECB-IMF) representatives in Greece he said that it “has been made clear that receiving technical assistance is totally different from ceding substantive authority to any foreigner.” He also said that “ceding sovereign rights through the loan agreement is unconstitutional.”
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga on Thursday criticised the prime minister for “having the nerve to say that the Greek people agree with the measures”.
Papariga underlined that the country was led to controlled bankruptcy that can evolve into uncontrolled bankruptcy while the Eurozone crisis intensifies.
She also accused PM George Papandreou of “trying to fool the people,” adding that “a large part of the Greek people cannot be appeased by what the premier says.”
On the likelihood of elections, Papariga stressed that elections will give the opportunity to the voters to deliver a crushing defeat to the ruling PASOK and the main opposition party of New Democracy (ND).
Referring to the recent decisions and the developments that they set in motion for the future of the EU, she said that rivalry within the EU deepens with the creation of two poles that agree with each other only to crush the peoples.
As regards the banks, she said that reinforced state intervention means nothing.
Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis on Thursday lashed out against the government over the outcome of the EU Summit, warning that the PASOK government was not only dangerous for what it had agreed to, but even more so for the way in which it was presenting it.
He accused prime minister George Papandreou and his associates of being “either unsuspecting or, much worse, politically deceitful”.
Opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras on Thursday lashed out at the government, accusing it of “trying to present as a paradise everything previously exorcised as being the manifestation of hell”.
Tsipras underlined that the decision reached in the EU Summit meeting should not be accepted by the Greek people. He spoke about bankruptcy and said that unemployment will skyrocket, migration abroad will increase, particularly among the young, and that people will experience poverty and destitution.
He called for immediate elections and stressed that the people should defend democracy and say “no” to the country’s permanent supervision.
Tsipras said that the choices made were criminal, stressing that the decision gave valuable time to banks and creditors to accumulate profits.