Greek PM says worst fears confirmed on economy

ATHENS, Feb 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Greek Prime Minister George
Papandreou told parliament on Friday, after a visit by EU
economic inspectors, that the worst fears about Greece’s economy
had been confirmed.

Greece is desperate to restore investor confidence in its
economic statistics, and reassure buyers of its debt, after
revealing that the previous government understated its budget
deficit by half.

The European Union is also pressing Greece for radical
measures to curtail its deficit to prevent damage to the common
currency, the euro.

“Everything that was revealed after the elections proved
that New Democracy (the previous, conservative administration)
fled from its responsibilities,” Papandreou said. “History
confirmed our worst fears.”

“The damage is incalculable. It is not only financial or
fiscal but also affects the position of the state …

“Our duty today is to forget about the political cost and
think only about the survival of our country. Past policies make
it necessary to proceed to brutal changes and reduce accumulated
privileges,” he added.

Greek government officials say the EU inspectors, visiting
Athens with IMF experts, have delivered a grim assessment of the
nation’s economy.

Their message was that Athens will miss its targets for
reducing the deficit without spending cuts of the kind that have
already brought Greeks out on to the streets.

Investors, who must decide whether to buy more Greek debt
when Athens issues a new 10-year bond in the next few weeks, are
anxious and Moody’s agency said it could downgrade Greece’s
credit rating if Greece fails to meet its budget promises.

“There is only one dilemma: Will we let the country go
bankrupt or will we react? Will we let the speculators strangle
us, or will we take our fate in our own hands?” Papandreou said.

“We must do whatever we can now to address the immediate
dangers today. Tomorrow it will be too late, and the
consequences will be much more dire,” he added.

Papandreou insisted that Greece would not seek a bailout
from abroad: “We ask the EU for its solidarity and they ask us
to meet our obligations. We will meet our obligations … We
will demand European community solidarity and I believe we will
get it.”

“No other country will pay for our debts,” he said. “It is a
matter of honour and pride for our country to put our own house
in order.”

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Greek PM says worst fears confirmed on economy