NEWS

PM ready to talk on economy

Following weeks of bickering between Greece’s parties over how to tackle the economic crisis, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday that he wants to hold talks with opposition leaders next month. In what is shaping up to be a busy month for him, Karamanlis said that he would be willing to have discussions with the other party leaders following an emergency summit of European Union leaders due to take place on March 1. «Our choices are very limited,» he said in Parliament. «After the emergency European summit, I will call for meetings with all political leaders, aimed at discussing the big issues of this critical period.» «The government listens to any serious suggestions that attempt to solve real problems,» Karamanlis added. «We do not claim a monopoly on ideas.» However, the prime minister made it clear that his invitation to talks would not mean that the government will adopt any idea put forward by the opposition leaders. «The country has an elected, responsible government and the various suggestions that are being made are not responsible approaches but an attempt to create a stir and reveal the opportunistic nature of some forces that think they have stumbled on an opportunity to take power or have a share in it,» he said after the leader of the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Giorgos Karatzaferis, suggested that an ecumenical government – one comprising politicians from all the parliamentary parties – be formed and that Lucas Papademos, the vice president of the European Central Bank, be brought in to get Greece out of the economic crisis. PASOK dismissed Karamanlis’s offer as an attempt to find «accomplices for the government’s destructive policies.»