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Papandreou Calls for Unity Regarding Austerity Measures

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday reiterated his call for national unity behind the government’s austerity measures, opening a three-day confidence vote debate that winds up at midnight Tuesday with an open roll-call vote.
Papandreou called on Parliament to give his newly-reshuffled government a renewed vote of confidence, noting that the country is at a critical crossroads and warned that a picture of division among the Greeks was not helping the country.
Warning that a disorderly bankruptcy would be catastrophic, Papandreou stressed that the country’s lenders, the EU and the IMF, want to see Greece standing on its own two feet, adding that the problems would not be solved if the IMF was asked to leave, and warning also that the country’s liquidity will very soon be exhausted without the disbursement of the 5th tranche of the EU-IMF bailout loan.
Papandreou asked for national consensus on fundamental axes, and a referendum on the major changes which, he said, will be contained in an amended Constitution.
The axes for the national understanding he is seeking include acknowledgement that the debt and deficits constitute a national problem and that “we must be the first to put our house in order”, that the fundamental choice of an organised confrontation of the Greek debt together with the country’s European partners should be averting abrupt market reactions, that the debt and deficits are the symptom of the illness and not the cause, that Greece will not be able to borrow (on the international markets) in 2012 “…and this is an unexpected new complication that we need to look straight in the eye, and not with our heads buried in the sand”, Papandreou elaborated.
Samras: Elections the only solution
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras on Sunday reiterated his call for early elections, adding that recourse to the people’s verdict is the only real solution and the only path for Greece’s exodus from uncertainty, addressing the first day of a parliamentary debate for a vote of confidence in the newly-reshuffled government.
ND will not give a vote of confidence to the government, in which not even Prime Minister George Papandreou believes in and because he is persisting in a policy that only creates new problems, Samaras said.
He also accused Papandreou of “not daring” to proceed to the forming of a “national salvation government”, but has instead created a partisan government aimed at gluing together his ruling PASOK party, thus opting to prevent the collapse of his party instead of the unity of the Greek people.
KKE: Elections, not referendum
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga opposed a referendum, but said ‘yes’ to early elections, addressing a vote of confidence debate in parliament on Sunday.
She clarified, however, that the KKE was taking this position under a different viewpoint from the other parties, with the aim of a “popular class movement and a weak government” arising.(ANA-MPA)
Papariga disagreed with the Prime Minister’s proposal for a referendum, warning that it was only “the other side of the harsh suppression of the people’s struggles”.
LAOS: Ecumenical gov’t
Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis called for early elections “that will produce an ecumenical government” as “the only government that can save Greece”, speaking during a vote of confidence debate in parliament on Sunday, and blamed the Prime Minister and the main opposition leader of “kicking the opportunity away” for a “national salvation government”.
(source: ana-mpa)

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