2010 A Year for Many Changes says Greek PM - The Best from Greece
Posted on: 21/Nov/2009
"We are trying to get the country out of the ICU and tidy up the economy," Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stated in Parliament on Friday, regarding the state budget for 2010.
The premier said that the next year would be one of major changes in several sectors of the economy, society and Greek institutions, with social dialogue on all these issues beginning in coming period.
He also announced plans for a meeting of political party leaders chaired by President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias to discuss matters of transparency and corruption, as soon as main opposition New Democracy had elected its new leader.
Papandreou underlined that the government had taken over at one of the most difficult times for the country since the restoration of democracy in 1974, a time when it was at a crucial turning point. He also emphasised that the underlying problem was not the global economic crisis, which had simply served to intensify existing problems.
Stressing that the government was not seeking to use the policies of the previous government as a scapegoat for the mistakes of the past, he said the first priority would be to protect what was most valuable in Greece, which was its people.
Calling on all to participate and not just 'tolerate', Papandreou said that the government's aim was two-fold: to allow the country to emerge from the crisis and to strike the problems at their roots.
One such area that lay at the root of problems, the premier repeated, was the state and the political system, which would continue to entrap the country and lead it to new crises unless there were major reforms.
The budget tabled by the government on Friday was a first step in this radical new course for Greece, which would be combined with the tidying up of public finances in order to ensure the best use of tax-payers' money.
These would be followed by major reforms to taxation, the political system and the operation of the state in order to promote transparency and ensure state respect for citizens, he added.
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