A Big Opportunity


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As every Radio, TV and social media outfit in Europe, including here in Ireland,  is talking about Greece, the 50% haircut etc, I thought it would be useful for those of us who read the ILR to revisit the issue from another angle. To take note of some of the comments made, verbatim, by the main Greek Party political figures, including one of the protagonists, Evangelo Venizelos, Minister of Finance and Vice-Premier of the Government, pictured above. While I’d appreciate comments, I will refrain from adding any of my own at this point.

“Every advantage accruing from the earlier decisions of July 21st has been maintained by last night’s decisions. Our country has now got the opportunity to benefit and work through the fact that this historic debt has now been reduced….especially as we have already discussed and decided on all the necessary measures to move forward. There remain, of course, a number of very complex issues to be discussed and resolved. Until we arrive at the required objective….our State and Government will have to engage in and work solutions with all those who are in possession, at the moment, of Greek State bonds. The banks will be recapitalised and their shares will be offered to the market during the next couple of years by the State which is working for the interests of all the Greek citizens. Last night’s agreement projects that the Greek sovereign debt will be reduced to 120% of our GDP – something we can all live with”.

Venizelos repeated that Greece will have a primary  surplus by the end of next year and added that it was a Greek Government decision to request that a troika team sets up a permanent office in Athens to avoid the dramatic stories about them arriving in the country every three months. He finished his comments by attacking the opposition and the Left, saying it was extraordinary that progressive people reacted negatively to a decrease of the country’s sovereign debt.

Anthony Samaras, the leader of the opposition New Democracy Party, concentrated his criticism on the lack of growth which has been the result of the austerity programme imposed by the PASOK Government.

“What is necessary is not just the reduction of the debt but the achievement of growth….if things remain as they are we will not be any closer to a solution.” he added. “We will be facing nine more years of poverty and social degradation – things that neither the economy nor our society can live with. There is no reference to growth….the mistakes of the past and present continue. And those responsible for bringing the country to the edge of the precipice cannot pose now as being our saviours.  The time for this Government to quit the scene has arrived.”

” I cannot find the right words to express how I feel about these decisions ” said Aleka Papariga, the leader of KKE, the Greek Communist Party.

” The Prime Minister had the gall to say that our people are in agreement with these horrific austerity measures…..the ordinary people, all of us in Europe, will have to pay for this haircut”.

“This government led by Papandreou, always absent from the key discussions, is now trying to present the situation as paradise – things that for the last couple of years they had characterised as hell. All their decisions were criminal and led the country to a shameful  default” said Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left Synaspismos Party.

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2 Responses

  1. Michael Youlton

    October 31, 2011 1:16 pm

    54% of Greeks want a referendum on new aid deal
    A poll conducted by Kapa Research SA and published in To Vima newspaper has found that 58.9% of Greek respondents judge the latest bailout package as “negative” or “probably negative” for Greece. The poll also found that 54.2% of Greeks thought a national referendum should be called to approve the new aid deal, compared with 40% who said Parliament should decide. The respondents were divided over Europe’s role in Greece, with 50.1% agreeing that more European oversight was either desirable or necessary for the country; while 48.8% saw it as an infringement of national sovereignty. Finally, 72.5% of the respondents said they wanted Greece to remain in the eurozone.

  2. Michael Youlton

    October 31, 2011 10:20 pm

    Late Monday night October 31st

    And now the haircut goes to referendum

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking in the Greek Parliament earlier this afternoon announced that his Government will organise a foll referendum re:the IMF/ECB/EU bailout next Januiary.

    The Prime Minister threw the gauntlet to the Greek citizens asking them to state whether they accept or reject the decisions made in the Eurozone Summit on October 28th. . He appeared at ease staying that the recent decisions provided full security for the Pension Boards, public sector wages and bank accounts. He also referred obliquely to the recent popular mobilisations saying that his entire Government abhors violence, that he supported respct of the law and he is in favour of the friends of Greece having the right to oversee his Government’s decisions.

    “Greek citizens must now declare whether they’re for the Great YES or the Great NO. I am speaking openly about the need to have a referendum….because we trust our people…at this critical hour…If our people decide YES we will move forward…if they people say NO we will not proceed. “
    From trusted media info, it has transpired that the Prime Minister had arrived at this decision on October 29th and had informed his close Party colleagues and the country’s President .
    Papandreou also requested that the deputies discuss and decide on a confidence vote next Friday. “ My Government will be in poser for two more years but I want this House to show us they trust to go on” he added. “ We will have elections in 2013 and not before” he concluded
    “The decision taken by our friends on Thursday gives us the opportunity to go on and carry out the reforms we have in mind without worrying about our debt. The generations to come will understand and apprecite the success achieved by this government…..Our European friends understand and appreciate what we have been doing….they’re nor our enemies…they will stand shoulder to shoulder with us unti we solve our problems”.

    Papandreou criticised the opposition which, instead of supporting the government and the European decisions, go onto the offensvive and with a section of the media cultivate fear and pessimism.

    The Prime Minister completed his speech by stating that nobody has the right to question his and his Government’s patriotism. “I understand and appreciate people’s anger but I am against violence and I don’t accept constant moaning without clear proposals”.
    From its part, the European Commission refused to make any comment …”WE are waiting for the official statement and clarification” was the curt statement by the EC spokesperso Carolina Kotova.