Samaras says 2013 focus must be on improving economic, social ‘reality’ in Greece

The government’s focus in 2013 will be on improving the economic and social reality in Greece after securing in 2012 the country’s membership of the eurozone, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in his New Year’s message on Monday.

“In 2012, we changed the country’s image abroad,” said Samaras. “In 2013, we will change Greek reality, with an emphasis on recovery and social cohesion. It’s fine getting support from others, powerful alliances are useful too but we Greeks are the ones that will save our country.”

In the wake of the latest revelations about the Lagarde list, Samaras also made a point of stressing the efforts to tackle corruption. But he indicated that the government’s greatest achievement in 2012 was to keep Greece in the euro and lay the foundations for a recovery.

“We said that we would avert Greece’s exit from the euro,” he said. “Few believed it but we succeeded.

“We said that we would change the mix of economic policy so the economy could take some breathers and with the funding we secured, all the money the state owed to individuals will be paid off in the next few months. Banks are being recapitalized to provide loans to households and companies. Liquidity will return to the Greek market.”