Karamanlis issues a rallying cry

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’s call for Greeks to «rally together» to face the economic crisis appeared to have little effect on politicians, who continued to argue about the strength and weaknesses of the government’s approach to the problem. In his address to mark Greek Independence Day, Karamanlis attempted to draw parallels between the way that Greeks had come together in 1821 to eventually drive out the Ottomans and the unity that he believes is needed now to face the economic crisis. «We are facing an unprecedented storm which requires us to take tough, not pleasant, but necessary decisions,» said Karamanlis after hearing the European Commission’s verdict on the measures that Greece needs to take to get its economy into shape. «There is an uphill road ahead of us, full of difficulties and unpredictable situations.» However, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis chose to attack PASOK’s policies, accusing the Socialists of lacking responsibility. «This is not the time for irresponsible, petty party political games,» she said during a speech in Alexandroupolis yesterday. «Populism comes at a great cost, especially at a time like this. PASOK’s policies are costly for the country.» Speaking after the military parade in Athens, PASOK leader George Papandreou said he would refrain from bringing up political issues on a day of national celebration but nevertheless fired a couple of broadsides at the government. «We can do better and we deserve better,» he said. President Karolos Papoulias decided to follow the prime minister’s lead and look to the past for inspiration. «We will not buckle under the weight of the international economic crisis,» he said. «The naked and barefoot Greeks that took on an empire sent a message that when we have desire, an idea and a purpose, we can succeed.»

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