George A. Papandreou - President of Socialist International - Former Prime Minister
George A. Papandreou - President of Socialist International - Former Prime Minister
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Imperative need to activate the support mechanism

Castelorizo, 23 April 2010

Statement by the Prime Minister
Statement by the Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister Statement by the Prime Minister, George A. Papandreou

"Yesterday, the data regarding the real level of the 2009 deficit were released.

They reminded all of us of the inexplicable errors, omissions, criminal choices and the avalanche of problems that we inherited from the previous government.

All of us - the present government and the Greek people - have inherited a ship that is about to sink.

A country without prestige and credibility, which has lost the respect of even its friends and partners.

An economy that is prey to the challenging and greed of speculators.

From the very first day, we rolled up our sleeves and worked hard in order to reverse this negative climate.

We drew up a plan, we took difficult and often painful measures, but we recovered our credibility.

We built new alliances.

After a real marathon, we sought and managed to obtain a firm EU decision in support of our country, through an unprecedented mechanism in the history and practice of the European Union.

Both we and our EU partners hoped that this decision would be enough to calm and bring markets to their senses, thus enabling us to continue to finance our country with lower interest rates.

We were hoping for a lull that would allow us to focus on our work, the major changes this country needs in order to make our economy viable and competitive.

Enable Greece to stand on its own two feet, strong, making all Greeks proud.

Markets did not respond.

Either because they did not believe in the EU’s determination, or because some people decided to go on speculating.   

And so, today, the market situation threatens to undermine not only the sacrifices of the Greek people, but also the normal progress of the economy.

This means that the efforts made by the Greeks may be lost as a result of higher lending rates and, even worse, as a result of borrowing difficulties.

We shall not allow it.

The moment has come for us to obtain the time that markets do not give us from the decision made by all the leaders of European countries together to support Greece.

We must, this is a national and imperative need, to officially ask our partners to activate the support mechanism that we have jointly created in the EU.

I have already instructed the Finance Minister to take the necessary action.

And our partners will assist us, immediately and decisively, in order to give Greece the safe haven that will allow us to rebuild our ship with sturdy and reliable materials.

As well as sending a strong message to the markets that the EU is not playing and is protecting our common interests and our common currency.

We are on a difficult course, a new Odyssey for Hellenism.

But now we know the way to Ithaca and we have charted our route.

Ahead of us lies a journey, a demanding journey for us all, but with a new, collective conscience and joint efforts we shall reach our destination safely, more assured, fairer and more proud.

Our final goal, our final destination is to liberate Greece from supervision and trusteeship.

To liberate the forces of Hellenism, every Greek man and woman, from conceptions, practices and systems that have been hindering them everywhere, for decades now.

Give oxygen where there is asphyxiation, justice and rules where there is injustice, transparency where there is darkness, certainty were there is insecurity and development for all.

Our inspiration, our faith is this country, from Kastelorizo to Kerkyra, from Crete to Evros, its wonderful people, our youth with their potential and vision.

I am absolutely certain that we shall succeed.

Provided that we Greeks believe in our potential, our values, our own self."
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