Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis stressed the need here on Sunday for boosting coordination at European level to tackle the economic crisis and said that during the European Union’s extraordinary summit, European leaders dealt with restoring the banking system’s operation in Europe, safeguarding the smooth functioning of the internal market and the consequences of the crisis for employment.
The prime minister said that many European economies are going through a recession and are being faced with considerable problems in the monetary sector. “Indeed, we are exeriencing the most serious crisis in the postwar era,” he said.
Karamanlis further said that social problems created cannot be ignored and stressed the need for helping the sectors of the population that are worst hit by the crisis.
However, he noted that a return to protectionism must be avoided, adding that this could jeopardise a great deal of what Europe has achieved so far.
The prime minister placed particular emphasis on the need to protect such economic sectors as the car industry, tourism and shipping. He further said that problems facing the real economy were discussed, as well as the issue of strengthening the supervision of Europe’s monetary organisations and foundations.
As regards employment, he noted that all the tools at the EU’s disposal must be utilised, starting from the European Social Fund.
He went on to say that the economic crisis is dealing a blow to Greece, just like to all the European countries. He pointed out that the Greek government has three main priorities. Boosting growth, fiscal restructuring and supporting the financially weaker citizens.
Karamanlis underlined that achieving these three goals is a difficult business and added that the country’s big debt does not allow the government to provide the grants that it would like to.
“We never beautified the situation, the situation is difficult, the crisis is not static and nobody can predict its outcome,” he said.
Karamanlis also said that the EU’s position is that a greater effort is required with regard to the monetary issue, while Greece is obliged to implement its plan without the slightest deviation.
Lastly, the prime minister said that extraordinary conditions are being experienced and that it is not by chance that there has been once again an extraordinary meeting of EU heads of state and government, while calling on all to show a feeling of responsibility and reiterating with emphasis that he is not thinking of elections and this issue is over.