Saturday September 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
PM wants referendum on constitution

 Papandreou calls for a vote in the fall to overhaul state sector, appeals again for consensus
George Papandreou said a lack of meritocracy and transparency in the state sector had contributed largely to the country’s dire economic situation

Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday proposed a referendum in the fall on a proposal to revise the Greek Constitution, saying that he was prepared to make radical changes to the state system as part of a broader effort to nurse the debt-ridden economy back to health.

Opening a debate in Parliament that is to culminate on Tuesday night with a confidence vote in his newly reshuffled Cabinet, Papandreou said that “a lack of meritocracy and transparency in the state sector” had contributed largely to the country’s dire economic situation and proposed a referendum on reforms that would overhaul a dysfunctional system. The premier also announced the creation of an independent panel of between 20 and 25 experts who would examine proposals for changes including a reduction to the 300-seat Parliament, the abolition of a law protecting government ministers from prosecution and an overhaul of the electoral system.

Further he said the government had boosted efforts to crack down on tax evasion and was investigating the deposits by Greek citizens in banks in Switzerland. ‘‘We are looking into the issue of the transfer of capital abroad,” he said.

As his newly-appointed Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos arrived in Luxembourg for talks with euro zone counterparts that were expected to approve the release of the latest instalment of rescue funding from a bailout agreed last year with Greece's foreign creditors, Papandreou confirmed that talks were continuing on the creation of a second bailout package ”roughly equal” to last year’s package of 110 billion euros.

Despite four unsuccessful appeals to political rivals to join a cross-party consensus on a new austerity program, Papandreou stressed the importance of establishing common ground once again.

‘‘The consequences of a sudden bankruptcy or exit from the euro zone would be immediately disastrous for Greek households, banks, and the country’s credibility,’’ he said, appealing to opposition politicians ‘‘to stop fighting in these critical times, stop projecting the image that the country is being torn apart.’’

But opposition party leaders appeared unmoved by the overture. Accusing the ruling Socialists of unleashing “an orgy of populism,” the leader of conservative New Democracy, Antonis Samaras reiterated his calls for early general elections and a renegotiation of the terms of Greece’s agreement with its foreign creditors.

Communist Party (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga also called for snap polls, dismissing the proposal of a referendum as an attempt to “cheat” the Greek people.

The leader of the far-right Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Giorgos Karatzaferis, condemned the new Cabinet as “deep PASOK” and insisted on the need for a unity government.

The head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, accused the government of fearing elections and described its midterm program - a new raft of tax hikes, spending cuts and privatization - as the “kiss of death for the Greek people.

An opinion carried out prior to last week’s reshuffle showed that 47.5 percent of respondents want Parliament to reject the reform package and for Greece to hold an early election rather than allow Papandreou to finish his term, which ends in 2013. Just over a third - 34.8 percent - said they want the package approved so Greece can secure a second bailout, according to the poll in daily To Vima’s Sunday edition.

On Sunday night thousands of self-proclaimed “Indignant” protesters, who have been staging peaceful nightly protests outside Parliament, gathered again to express their opposition to the ongoing austerity drive.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday June 19, 2011 (23:41)  
Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
PM in energy talks ahead of crucial meeting with Merkel
Attiki Odos Lamia exit to close Sunday
Record sum of new debts to the state in August
Expired debts to the state rose to a record high in August, according to data released on Friday by the Finance Ministry. The sum of taxes and fines that remained unpaid after their deadline...
‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
Greece will be able to meet its obligations without any new assistance from the International Monetary Fund, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Friday in London, leaving the door ope...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
High stakes after the Scottish vote
We will soon know whether the Scots voted for their country’s independence or whether they will remain citizens of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” What was alread...
EDITORIAL
Breathing room
Even Greece’s biggest critics find it hard to deny that the debt-hit country has achieved an unprecedented fiscal turnaround within a very short period of time. Sure, progress in promoting t...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
2. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
3. Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
4. Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
5. PM in energy talks ahead of crucial meeting with Merkel
6. Attiki Odos Lamia exit to close Sunday
more news
Today
This Week
1. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
2. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
3. Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
4. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
5. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
6. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.