NEWS

Samaras sends letter of guarantee to creditors

The head of conservative New Democracy, Antonis Samaras, sent a letter on Wednesday to the heads of the country?s foreign creditors, saying that he was committed to the terms of a new debt deal.

Foreign creditors had demanded the written guarantees from both leaders in the coalition government as a prerequisite for releasing crucial rescue funding to ensure the country does not default in March.

Samaras wrote that his party is ?committed? to the ?objectives and key policies? of the country?s new loan deal with its foreign creditors, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, adding that he would remain committed irrespective of the outcome of early elections, expected in April. ?If Nea Demokratia wins the next election in Greece, we will remain committed to the program’s objectives, targets and key policies,? Samaras wrote in a letter addressed to ECB President Mario Draghi. The same letter was sent the heads of the EC and IMF.

The ND leader noted however that ?policy modifications might be required to guarantee the full program?s implementation.? But he said his party would only propose ?viable policy alternatives, strictly within the framework outlined by the program, so that the achievement of its objectives will not be put at risk.?

The leader of Socialist PASOK and former prime minister George Papandreou sent a similar letter on Wednesday confirming his commitment to the conditions of the debt deal.

There had been no real doubt surrounding the provision of a similar pledge from Papandreou, who signed Greece?s first bailout with creditors in May 2010. ?From our side we will fulfill our commitments as agreed upon,? Papandreou wrote in his letter.

Both party leaders emphasized the importance of promoting competitiveness and growth alongside deep structural reforms and additional austerity.