Former Greek PM says EU was too slow in responding to crisis

The European Union was slow in its efforts to aid Greece in the wake of the country’s debt crisis, according to former Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Speaking to Italy’s Corriere della Sera in an interview published on Saturday, the former PASOK chief expressed satisfaction with regard to Greece’s return to international markets last week, but said it had taken a very long time for the country’s financial “exile” to come to an end.

On the issue of Greece altering economic figures, Papandreou noted that the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund had been monitoring the situation and may have issued warnings to then Premier Costas Karamanlis.

“My government and I were punished for other people’s sins,” noted Papandreou, who also argued that the country now needed a new model for growth, while reiterating his conviction that Greece’s principal concern was not its deficit but structural issues, including red tape, corruption and tax evasion.