NEWS

More calls for consensus but ND reluctant to agree

The head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, has reiterated calls for cross-party agreement on economic measures in Greece but a New Democracy spokesman has said that the conservatives have key disagreements with the policies the government has agreed with the troika and will only provide ?targeted consensus?.

“We underlined the importance of cross-party support in Greece,» Juncker said in a statement after a teleconference with eurozone finance ministers.

“The adjustment of the Greek economy can only succeed when all relevant political parties subscribe to the objectives and main parameters of the programme.”

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has been meeting European officials this week in a bid to present his ideas about the Greek economy but has invariable been told to be more supportive of the measures being agreed by the government and the troika.

Speaking to Skai TV on Thursday, ND?s Christos Staikouras, a spokesman for economic affairs, suggested that it would be difficult to achieve consensus given that the conservatives have some serious objections to the policies.

?We have a basic point of disagreement with the troika over how the economy should be revived,? he said, pointing to ND?s suggestion that there should be across-the-board tax cuts to stimulate economic activity. ?The troika wants measures that will deliver results straight away.?

Staikouras insisted that the EU-IMF memorandum had failed and that its terms should be renegotiated.

?Two thirds of the sacrifices being made by Greeks are going to waste,? he said. ?The recession is deep and long and we cannot return to the markets. They are asking us to follow the wrong recipe.

?Who can say that the next loan instalment is guaranteed when the recipe is wrong??

The ND official said that his party would not give carte blanch approval to measures but would support policies that it agrees with.

?We will provide targeted consenus,? he said. ?We will vote for whatever we believe is right.?