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Reform announcement unleashed sharp reactions

03 May 2010 / 15:05:00  GRReporter
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Immediately after the announcement of the reforms negative reactions were unleashed by opposition parties. Unions compared the state of society with an active volcano, leftist parties claimed that the reforms will not continue for three years but for decades, and rightist parties allegorically claimed that the rulers have exceeded the medication dose, which has become more dangerous than the disease itself. 

The union of public sector employees, ADEDY, which is preparing for a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, compared society with an active volcano. "The government announced bankruptcy for the lives of all employees, pensioners, and unemployed ...As the Prime Minister said and in particular as the Minister of Finance formulated, we have witnessing historical changes. But these are changes related to measures and policies that will lead to over-impoverishment of society," stressed representatives of ADEDY. 

The crisis clearly will give opportunity, but again to those who have power and money, like companies and banks, also said trade unionists: "There will be redistribution of wealth and in particular the rich will become richer and the poor even poorer.” 

General dissatisfaction is expressed in the absence of measures to support competitiveness, the lack of a program for privatization, and measures for reviving the market and limiting bankruptcy of small and medium companies and the general lack of program that will allow Greece to tackle the problem with extra large interest loan by itself, said the leader of New Democracy Antonis Samaras. 

"Today we are more threatened by medicine over-dose rather than the disease itself," continued Mr. Samaras and accused the government that it did not enter into dialogue with anyone before taking decisions, not even with the President of the Republic. More precisely, Mr. Samaras said, "the Prime Minister announced as "safe" for Greece what yesterday he said was going to hurt the country and is not needed: more measures worse than those that were announced and which until yesterday were considered sufficient. We are on the verge of a genuine recognition of Waterloo forecasts and policies of the government: they predicted that this year recession will be -0.3%, and now they admit that it will reach -4%. 

Yesterday, shortly after Finance Minister George Papkonstantinou announced reforms related to the cuts and new taxes, the first reaction came from PASOK MP George Panayotakopoulos, who prompted people to come out on the streets. 

"The hour has come for people to take great and irreplaceable responsibility, so it can show that it does not believe the lies of the government but it believes in the right to fight. Measures are not only for three years. In few months they will change and then they will change again and if people out down their heads, then the tragedy will be enormous. But we are optimistic we can sweep them out," said secretary of the Communist Party of Greece Aleka Papariga. 

"The over-chewed ideas of Mr. Papandreou mean we should take many “antipyretics” and not “anti-flu” medicine. We can feel better today, but without development, tomorrow the symptoms will become worse,” summarized Kostis Aivaliotis the position of the right-wing party LAOS. 

"They are pushing us towards a tunnel without light, in which we will remain for at least the next two decades. Because if we accept this path we will require many years to recover the little still existing, productive forces of the country," said the leader of the opposition coalition SIRIZA Alexis Tsipras, according to who the measures agreed between the Government and the IMF and the EU in any case are not the only way out of crisis. 

World media reacted immediately. Here are some headlines: 

“Greece must make ‘great sacrifices’ " (BBC) 

"Greece has agreed to rescue plan with the EU and IMF. Bankruptcy ‘red line that must not be passed’ " (Financial Times) 

"Greece accepts the terms of the EU's plan for salvation. "Cruel" cuts "(Bloomberg) 

“Greece gets aid, Promises austerity” (The Wall Street Journal) 

“The Greeks agree on more taxes and lower wages. Good years are over...” (Der Spiegel) 

“Greeks want to meet the framework of the Stability of 2014” (Die Welt) 

“Greece agreed with the EU and IMF, to ensure its economic survival” (Le Monde) 

“The aid plan for Greece "punishes" mostly pensioners and civil servants” (El Pais) 

Based on articles in Vima newspaper

Tags: Greece crisis economy IMF ECB
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