PASOK plan would cost 10 bln euros

The ruling conservatives said yesterday that promises made by Greece’s main opposition party PASOK to pull the country out of the economic crisis would cost more than 10 billion euros and are out of touch with reality. Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said PASOK leader George Papandreou’s economic policy costs at least 10.7 billion euros, or 4.3 percent of gross domestic product, and that those promises could not be kept over the next four years. «It is clear that he chooses to consciously tell lies at a difficult period for the country,» said Papathanassiou in a statement, as the conservative government drives Greece into what will most likely be its first recession in 16 years. Papandreou outlined in Thessaloniki over the weekend a 100-day plan aimed at boosting incomes, strengthening economic activity, safeguarding jobs and tidying up public finances with great emphasis on catching tax evaders. The Socialists currently lead the conservatives in the polls by between 5 to 6 percent. The president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA), Constantinos Michalos, said the measures were vague and relied on hypothetical scenarios. «The business world was interested in hearing the positions of the PASOK president but, in the end, was none the wiser,» said Michalos.