Papandreou will meet July agreement


Prime Minister George Papandreou ruled out any question of default in a press conference held yesterday at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

He made it clear that Greece would continue to meet its commitments in order to continue receiving EU/IMF support. He also ruled out any question of an early election and was quick to criticise the opposition who he described as having a ‘lack of maturity’.

Earlier his finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, had announced a new property tax to cover a shortfall expected in this year’s revenues. The tax, over two years, will be charged at €4 per square metre and should raise around €2 billion.

The Prime Minister also announced that every elected official would have a month’s salary docked to show that everyone was suffering the pain.

That did not stop around 25,000 protesters outside the press conference. Nor has it stopped the government party Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) of Mr Papandreou from slipping further in the opinion polls.

The latest polls put the main opposition, New Democracy (ND) around 5% ahead of PASOK. The most recent published by VPRC in the Epikaira magazine on 8th September puts the ND on 30% and PASOK on 24.5%.

The government had earlier announced civil servant layoffs and pay cuts which have led to further outrage and even condemnation within the PASOK rank and file membership at their party conference.

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