NEWS

Samaras stands by ND’s rejection of new measures

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has reiterated in an interview with the Financial Times his reasons for not supporting the medium term fiscal plan that will be voted on in Parliament next week.

Samaras told the British newspaper that the spending cuts and tax hikes included in the package would wreak further damage on the Greek economy.

?They?re asking me to support the same kind of medicine for someone who is dying from that medicine. I won?t do it,? Samaras told the FT in an interview on Wednesday.

?Liquidity is the top, top, top problem of the economy. Imagine what happens in the real economy when there is no private spending, no government spending and no foreign direct investment. Everything is closing down. There is a brain drain, educated people are leaving the country.?

The ND leader said that the poor state of the economy is fuelling the public?s protests against politicians.

?When despite your sacrifices you see no light at the end of the tunnel, you become angry, and you become angry at the system, not just specific politicians and parties. And that is dangerous.?

Samaras repeated his argument that the government should cut value added tax, reduce the tax rate on corporate profits and slash employers? social insurance contributions in order to stimulate economic recovery.

However, Samaras?s plans were identified as ?unrealistic and incompatible with the overall objectives of the adjustment program? in a draft report by International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission officials.

The conservative chief insisted that despite differences with the EU over the economy, Greece should not lose its ?pro-European identity.? He also agreed with the government?s position that a debt restructuring should be avoided, calling it a ?No, No?.

The FT reported that Samaras called for the introduction of common eurozone bonds and said he appreciated the ECB?s essential role in supplying liquidity to Greek banks shut out of capital markets. ?If the ECB were to cut off this source of funds, it would be the end of our economy, because we have no interbank market,? he said.