ND says package is charity

New Democracy reacted angrily to the series of measures announced by the government, describing them both as «charity» and a sign of «panic» in the face of elections but also as a ripoff of the conservative party’s proposals. «The Greeks are not looking for charity. They seek respect and dignity; they want their political leadership to be serious. Social policy is not a gratuity aimed at winning votes,» party leader Costas Karamanlis declared. He accused the prime minister of breaking previous promises. «Now, stricken by panic, he repeats, shamelessly, for the eighth time, the same things,» Karamanlis charged. «He resorts again to a new trade in hope. He resorts to a desperate effort to buy off consciences. And this is a disgrace for public life. It is an insult to citizens,» he said. «Mr Simitis and his government have to go.» Karamanlis accused Simitis of presenting ND’s promises of reducing VAT on farm equipment and supporting students with subsidies as PASOK’s ideas. «He remembered them now, in the pre-election period,» he said. The Communist Party said the measures were «a sham, a provocation.» «After looting workers’ income, they now toss them a bone while preparing new anti-popular measures.» Synaspismos Left Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos, mixing his metaphors, charged: «Mr Simitis sees social policy as charity and a gilded pre-election pill.»

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