Former PM Simitis looks at path to crisis

Former Prime Minister Costas Simitis has launched a stinging attack on the New Democracy and PASOK governments that were in power from 2004 onward, arguing that their mismanagement of the Greek economy led to the crisis.

In a new book called ?The Derailment,? which is being serialized in Ta Nea newspaper, Simitis accuses the New Democracy administration led by Costas Karamanlis between 2004 and 2009 of believing there was an ?automatic pilot in markets and the economy that would plot the correct course for the country.?

He also charges the PASOK government of George Papandreou, which came to power in late 2009, of having failed to prepare for the size of the economic challenge it was due to face.

He accuses the party of turning its back on the consolidation policies he had implemented between 1996 and 2004 and failing to consult with any of the officials involved in planning economic policy then.

However, Simitis also reserves criticism for the European Union, which he claims turned a blind eye to the doctored deficit forecasts submitted by the New Democracy government in 2009.

He adds that Greece?s lenders made a vital mistake at the beginning of the bailout program by believing that Greece was a country with ?similar state and social organization levels to other Western European countries.?