Minister admits he did not read EU-IMF loan agreement

Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, who has declared he intends to challenge for the PASOK leadership, said on Tuesday that when he was part of the Cabinet in 2010 he did not read the terms of Greece's loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Speaking to Skai TV, Chrysochoidis said that he was too busy at the time with his duties as Citizens' Protection Minister to read the text of the agreement, also known as the memorandum.

?I did not read the memorandum, I had other obligations and responsibilities,? said the minister. ?As Citizens' Protection Minister, I had to tackle crime. I did not have time to study the memorandum.?

Chrysochoidis went on to agree with a speech made by former Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Berlin on Monday, in which he argued that the emergency loan agreement was signed in too much of a rush and that many of the austerity measures it included would further damage the suffering Greek economy.

?The negotiations were very horizontal and it was based on an optimistic and simplistic projection that things would develop in a certain way,? he told Skai.

?But things do not develop the way you want them and the successive measures created a deeper recession because they reduced liquidity.?

Chrysochoidis also appeared to distance himself from the view of Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who is likely to be a rival for the PASOK leadership, by suggesting that it was not just a case of ?we saved the country but we made people bitter.?