Last quote by George Papandreou
George Papandreou quotes
No other road exists, any other road would mean bankruptcy and serious consequences for every household, for every Greek. So that's why we're making this big effort and it would be very negative to abandon it: the sacrifices we've already made would be lost.
We now have a programme and a package of decisions which create a sustainable path for Greece, a sustainable debt management for Greece and this in the end of course will mean not only the funding of the programme, but it will also mean the lightening of the burden on the Greek people.
It is vital to correct past mistakes, be mindful of the present and discuss the future. Some of those protesting outside are really suffering, but others are there because they are losing perks they have become used to.
The support that was given by my fellow European leaders, was given because they have recognised not only my personal efforts, I would say they have recognised the efforts of the Greek people, I'd say the sacrifices of the Greek people, and that is stated in so many words in the European Council conclusions. This is a vote of confidence from our fellow partners in the European Union.
This vote of confidence is a contract with the Greek people, a contract of what we can promise but also what we cannot promise on the side of the government. But it is also a commitment of what every Greek can do for their country.
I've learned to fight battles in my life for my country, for citizens, for values, for the people. I will continue on the same path of duty, along with my Socialist party, the civil service and the Greek people. That is why I am forming a new government and immediately after, of course, I will ask parliament for a vote of confidence.
We are at a crucial moment and at a critical time for decisions and I believe that national consensus is important for the country's interest.
I realise the problems of families, of workers, of the unemployed, of the pensioners.This programme is not pleasant, this medicine is not pleasant and the treatment requires dedication and commitment.
We can guarantee not only our exit from this crisis, but also a viable economy, viable development, a Greece with a just society, a Greece that can rely on its own strengths and believe in itself.
Euro bonds are not a substitute for this necessary adjustment we are making in each of our countries, including in Greece, but they can serve as an effective complementary means to help resolve the euro area debt crisis.
They have rejected the Sirens of instability. Now, we have a clear three years before us to change Greece.
The Greek people brought us to power a year ago for this change to happen, and today they confirmed again that they want this change and are asking for it to happen. As of tomorrow, we continue with our work.
This is an opportunity to make a better country, to make a new beginning, a more just, transparent, human, productive and competitive Greece.
I want to reiterate we are determined to confront our country's fiscal problem, but we are also making deep changes in our economy, our political system, our society.
Greece has taken very important measures: we are determined to put our own house in order.
I would prefer a European solution – as part of the euro zone, [and] as an ardent European myself… to show the world that Europe can act together.
We are not asking for money from Germans, French or Italians, or other workers or taxpayers. What we are saying is that we need the strong political support in order to make these necessary reforms and making sure that we are not going to pay more than necessary.
We are doing what it takes with determination and credibility to steer our economy on a new path, a viable path for the future.
I informed the president of the difficult decisions we took, decisions that were a necessity for the survival of our country and our economy so the country can escape the speculators and the defamation, so we can breathe and fight, along with the Greek people, for a more just society, for the big changes that will bring development, jobs, and prospects to the country.
If our country doesn't manage to borrow on terms similar to those enjoyed by other European Union countries, the results will be worse than catastrophic. Our responsibility is to prevent this catastrophe.
No other country will pay for Greece's debts, this is certain. No one else can get us out of this quagmire, only we can. More than that: It's an issue of honour and pride for the country to fix the problems in our house.
I can assure you the Greek people are ready to adopt the changes necessary to reform our society, so it becomes more robust and successful.
I think that political will is very clear. Let us allow for the instrumentation to be something as a theoretical discussion because we hope we will not be there because we are ready to take all the measures as well as Europe in order to be credible and to have a credible exit out of this crisis.
We are ready to take any measure in order to make sure that the goal of cutting our deficit by 4% in 2010 to the percentage of 8.7% of our GDP will be [achieved]. We are ready to take any measures in order to make this sure.
We will be changing the tax system, cutting top wages in the public sector. We will also be restructuring administration.
Greece – with its own responsibility and, to be frank, the responsibility of the previous government – finds itself at the centre of an unprecedented speculative attack that doesn't concern only us.
There are a lot of rumours and speculations that have nothing to do with reality. We are a very serious government ready to put our house in order, and we will do so, and we'll move ahead. And you know we will make things turn around.
The way we have organised the sector has not made it competitive and this is one of the reasons why our farmers are protesting. But I believe we will have the support because people understand that we must make a change.
I want to make this very clear. While we are in this unprecedented crisis, I am calling for a national mobilisation of political parties, business, the unions and the people. We are going to make it, despite the depth and seriousness of the crisis. Together we will turn this into an opportunity.
Greece has great potential. Greece has many comparative advantages. But we are wasting this potential with policies which must change. One of the problems which Greece has is that we have had over the years, unluckily, systemic corruption in the public sector, from the top down to the lower levels which means a lot of loss of money, great inequality and a lack of investment.
First of all, there is, I think, a very big opportunity for Socialist International. We are 161 parties around the world, the biggest political organisation in the world. There is an opportunity to show our solidarity for new areas in the world, where progressive movements are developing, and this will be in Russia, in China, in the Arab world, working with the progressives in the US. Our traditional base is in Europe, but there are very strong parties in Latin America and other parts of the world also. We have the opportunity of showing our work in the area of justice, of fighting inequality and poverty, the area of democracy and developing participation, the area of peace, in supporting the initiatives such as the one that (Spanish) Prime Minister Zapatero has taken on, the alliance of civilisations, dialogue in alliance rather than culture clash.
I believe that conservatives today are moving dangerously more and more towards populism. The world is facing problems but it doesn't need populism, it doesn't need fear-mongering. Their language is the language of fear, our language is the language of security. They, I think, are also using big government for the few. But we see government as empowering our citizens to deal with the new challenges of today.