NEWS

Main opposition leader rules out consensus

The leader of the main conservative opposition New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras, told Kathimerini in an interview published on Sunday that his party will not enter any kind of a consensus with the government, saying that this would make the conservatives ?complicit? in implementing the ruling Socialists? austerity program.

?They want us to be complicit. We will not do them that favor,? Samaras said.

The ND leader again highlighted his opposition to the so-called memorandum – the austerity measures pledged by the government in exchange for 110 billion euros in emergency loans – and described the pact as ?an international example to be avoided.?

Samaras ruled out cooperating with PASOK in a coalition government should the ruling party fail to secure the necessary majority in the next general elections, adding that ND would soon bounce back after months of low ratings in opinion polls. ?People disappointed by PASOK will pause and then move toward New Democracy,? he said.

Samaras said the leader of the far-right Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Giorgos Karatzaferis, and the head of Democratic Alliance, former Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, were also to blame for the current situation. ?They cooperated with the government and allowed it to impose this deadlock,? Samaras said.

In comments made public by the Athens News Agency on Sunday, Bakoyannis said that the current need was not necessarily for co-governance nor political consensus but ?consultation on a national level.? ?We need to understand where we are and how we can emerge from the crisis,? she said.

Reacting to Samaras?s comments on Sunday, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis accused him of ?discrediting the national struggle and the efforts of the Greek people.?