28 May, 2011
Prime Minister George Papandreou, speaking hours after a meeting between party leaders chaired by President Karolos Papoulias, on Friday evening stressed that elections will take place on time in 2013, dashing speculation over snap elections in case consensus is not achieved amid the ongoing economic and fiscal crisis.
Papandreou pointed out that he and his government intend to take all necessary decisions to achieve the target of rescuing the country, and without calculating the political costs. At the same time, as he noted, "we shall continue the effort for a common understanding, for the good of the country."
However, he stressed that he is open to further discussions and specific steps for a national consensus, as he again called on opposition parties to abandon conventional opposition tactics in light of the national target of exiting the crisis unscathed.
The prime minister further said he called on the party leaders to help as well, as the Greek people are doing, for the country's borrowing to be secure now and in the future.
Papandreou proposed to the party leaders, among others, "to work together for the major changes for which our society is thirsty for. We must respond to the demand of the citizens, who do not want a political-economic system in which the logic of looting, selfishness and appropriation was dominant."
"... we must give a reply to the immediate and vital problem of debt and deficits, in cooperation with our partners," he said, while deriding what he called the purveyors of "disastrous scenarios of our country's exit from the euro..."
"We put an end to the deficits and go towards a balanced budget, with the exception of interest, meaning a primary surplus as of next year, in 2012 ... we must all take the bold decision to decrease an ineffective, unproductive and clientele swollen state, which our country can no longer lift."
Consensus proved elusive for Greece's political leaders on Friday despite urgent pressure from the country's European partners. Despite talks lasting well over three hours, they failed to agree on the measures for exiting the dire crisis, following a closely watched council chaired by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias.
Source: Athens News Agency