Athens.- Parliament rejected, in the early hours of Saturday, a censure motion against the New Democracy government tabled by main opposition PASOK party over a social security system reform, with 152 votes in the 300-member House. 138 deputies voted in favour of the motion, while 10 declared “present”.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated his government’s strong determination to go ahead with reforms, while wrapping up a three-day parliamentary debate on a censure motion, which was tabled by main opposition PASOK party in relation to a social insurance system reform promoted by the ruling New Democracy (ND) party.
“We do not play games with the future of our society. We do not capitulate in front of problems. We do not retreat in front of difficulties. We are not playing with the prospects of our homeland,” Karamanlis underlined.
“Citizens have trusted us, because we are a force of responsibility, a force of stability, a force of reforms. This is what we have promised. And we do not intend to fall short of our promises,” the premier said, adding that the citizens placed their confidence in his government in order “to put Greece in an orbit of reforms and changes”.
Karamanlis strongly attacked the main opposition party saying that it was only aiming at “covering up its non-credibility, its lack of political positions and its lack of a comprehensive view of the problems faced by citizens,” adding that the censure motion was “the product of an antagonism” between PASOK and the Left.
Turning to the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), the premier charged that it “wages a game against institutions for a few minutes of publicity.”
Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou told Parliament on Friday night during a debate on a censure motion against the government tabled by himself, that even if the motion was rejected “in the conscience of all Greeks, it would have been retified by the overwhelming majority of citizens.”
“We shall continue the struggle against the government and your policies, inside and outside Parliament, everyday and everywhere,” Papandreou noted.
The main opposition leader also announced his party’s intention to table soon a proposal for the setting up of a fact-finding committee regarding the “bonds scandal”.
He concluded by calling on ruling New Democracy deputies not to obey their party, because, as he said, “obedience, in this case, does not abide by their respect to moral and national demands.”
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga said in Parliament on Friday evening regarding the main opposition PASOK’s censure motion against the government over the social security reforms that “we support the demand for a referendum over the social security, but a referendum for all the social insurance laws since 1992 and after.”
“We shall give our support to the censure motion against the New Democracy government, however the censure motion must appear daily,” she said, and at the same time accused the government for its strategy which is “the concentration of capital, the serving of the imperialist plans and the strategy of the European Union”.
Papariga stressed that “despite the existing matters of management and tactics, the basic thing is for the strategic character of the New Democracy’s policy to be revealed.”
Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos, speaking in Parliament on Friday during the debate on the motion of censure against the government, said that “the government must fall without delay, as a result of the action of a revived Left, to prevent the implementation of government plans for heavy duty and unhygienic professions, the Olympic Airlines, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), the Hellenic Post Office Service (ELTA) and Kosovo.”
Alavanos welcomed the initiative by the main opposition PASOK party to table a motion of censure against the government, stressing that for SYRIZA “it is not repulsive a competition and rivalry for positive actions that respond to the demands of society. What is repulsive is a competition in corruption, jockeying as to who will have the favour of the establishment, congestion at the receptions of the American embassy, party conflicts with false and big words.”