Papandreou meets with Papoulias, Samaras will not approve "a mistake"

Greek prime minister George Papandreou on Tuesday met with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, to brief him on the recent EU and eurozone summits. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters that the new borrowing agreement needs to be endorsed by a Parliamentary majority vote of 180 votes. Analysts say that this will be difficult to achieve since the main opposition New Democracy Party of Antonis Samaras has flatly said they would not support this agreement which they describe as “a mistake”.
Papandreou appealed for a sense of responsibility, calm and unity on the part of everyone, including the political parties, in light of the “tough battle we are waging to lift the big weight that has fallen on the Greek people from the debt we inherited, and to lift their share of the burden and the responsibilities”. Following his meeting with Papoulias, Papandreou said that finding a solution that is secure for Greek citizens is the national goal with which Greece would be heading to the EU summit in Brussels. Papandreou called on everyone to contribute to attaining national targets, both regarding the outcome of the negotiations and the materialisation of the decisions that will be taken and made special note of banks that will be streamlined and which must contribute to investments in the real economy.

Last night Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said that the government was considering the endorsement, by the Greek parliament, over the country’s new borrowing programme with a broader (180) majority vote. Which is Constitutionally correct. The new program would of followed a eurozone summit on Wednesday regarding a “haircut” of Greek bonds, but it was announced on Tuesday that European Union finance ministers (Ecofin) will not meet as scheduled, but that the Brussels meeting of EU heads of state, however, will still go ahead as planned.
MAIN OPPOSITION NEW DEMOCRACY PARTY

On its part spokesman of the main opposition New Democracy Party Giannis Michelakis said the Greek Constitution clearly states the instances in which 180 votes are necessary, adding that “they (ministers) admit that a strong majority is not legally necessary but they want it for purely political reasons.” He also pointed out that ND leader Antonis Samaras has made it clear that he will not “sign on to a mistake”.

As regards the likelihood of ceding national sovereignty, within the framework of the debt agreements, ND underlined that this will not be accepted. “Receiving technical assistance is a completely different thing from ceding decisive authority to foreigners,” Michelakis said and reminded statements made a day earlier by Amadeu Altafaj, a spokesman for EU Commissioner Olli Rehn, who underlined that placing an EU member-state under guardianship is not acceptable institutionally or legally.

ND repeated its call for snap elections and as regards the decisions expected to be made in Brussels it was maintained that based on the indications so far, the Europeans and the IMF will undertake to manage the Greek debt, while Greece will manage the deficit. Michelakis repeated ND’s steadfast position for substantive negotiations to have a policy mix that will lead to surplus budgets. The ND spokesman also spoke about a negotiation for a different recipe that will be based on economic growth and not on recession to help the country exit the crisis as soon as possible.


Combined reports (amna)
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