NEWS

PM says Greece and Europe in common struggle

Prime Minister George Papandreou has told Europe?s socialists that Greece?s effort to the economic crisis is just part of the struggle that the whole continent faces as it tries to restore stability.

?For us, the changes in Greece and Europe are a parallel and common struggle so that our country can escape from economic danger but also so that we can give the people of Europe the prosper of growth and prosperity,? said Papandreou as he signed off at a two-day meeting of leaders of Party of European Socialists (PES) in Athens on Saturday.

His comments came as PES adopted a declaration condemning conservative governments, France and Germany in particular, for the policies they are advocating as away of tackling the economic crisis.

?The people of Europe deserve to understand that there is a clear choice in how the European Union develops,? said PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen ?Our plan will create 8 million jobs. The Conservative plan will only increase unemployment. People should remember, it is not Europe that is to blame, it is the Conservative majority.”

The PES leaders were particularly critical of the ?competitiveness pact? suggested by France and Germany, although Papandreou has indicated that Greece might support the plan in the interests of achieving a comprehensive approach to debt and deficit problems in the EU at a meeting of eurozone leaders on March 11 and EU leaders on March 24-25.

?The conservatives are hiding behind technicalities and vague concepts to implement their ideological bias towards small states and big markets,? said the PES leaders in their declaration.

?Under the pretext of ?increased competitiveness?, conservative governments want to impose a ?Pact? on all member states, which is more a diktat of an ultra-neoliberal and austerity-only agenda that would make it impossible for them to overcome the crisis.?