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Greek PM and opposition parties disagree over plan to exit economic crisis

12-15-2010 09:15 BJT

ATHENS, Dec. 14 (Xinhua)-- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held a string of separate meetings with opposition political party leaders here on Tuesday which resulted in no agreement over the plan to exit a severe debt crisis.

Ahead of the EU summit this week on the economic crisis across Europe, Papandreou tried once more to reach consensus over the painful austerity measures and structural reforms his government implements over the past few months to address a crisis that threatened the country with default.

The Greek premier secured the financial support of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the plan in May, but still faces strong objections of opposition parties represented in the Greek parliament.

"The government asks for accomplices in a faulted economic policy already under way, not consensus," said main opposition, conservative New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras after talks with Papandreou.

Samaras said that his party would support the government's stance on the extension of the repayment period of the EU-IMF loans for Greece, as long as this extension to 2021 instead of 2016 according to the initial agreement in May, will not result in more austerity measures for Greek peoples.

Samaras asked that the government boosts measures against tax evasion to slash the budget deficit instead of adding more burden on law abiding citizens, middle class entrepreneurs and low income pensioners and employees.

"The real war starts now. Working class people realize they must counter-attack now or never. We cannot accept a return to Middle Ages for employees," said Greek Communist Party General Secretary Aleka Papariga following the meeting with Papandreou.

"We will not play the role of undertakers who will bury Greek peoples", added far-right Popular Orthodox Rally party leader George Karatzaferis. His party was the only one who backed the ruling socialist PASOK party in parliament in May during the vote on the rescue deal with the EU and the IMF.

"We do not intend to waste time with meaningless handshakes," commented Left SYRIZA coalition leader Alexis Tsipras who rejected the Premier's invitation for a similar meeting on Tuesday.

Greek government spokesman George Petalotis stressed on Tuesday afternoon that the government will not stop seeking political and national consensus, which is regarded as necessary for the successful conclusion of the plan to exit the crisis.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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