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PM George Papandreou in “Foreign Policy” Magazine

Prime Minister George Papandreou in an in-depth interview in the American magazine Foreign Policy (July 19) explained the reasons behind the crisis and the measures taken by his government in order to tackle it.
He stressed that with the support of the European Union, Greece decided against defaulting, which would cause insurmountable problems especially for the banking institutions in Greece and Europe alike.
He recognized that there was a lack of transparency; there was a lot of money that was lost, wasted, through a huge bureaucracy and patronage. Nevertheless, he highlighted that “we’re committed to changing the situation.
My government, for example, has now brought in laws such as total transparency in all signatures in the public sector, putting more and more tax reform resources and contracts online.”
The premier empathised with Greeks’ sentiments of unhappiness and pain, but “the wide majority of the people realize that we needed to make changes that were long overdue in our country, such as making governance much more responsible, and running the country much more transparent.”
Finally, he debunked recent media stereotypes of Greeks being lazy and concluded saying that: “we’ve seen in this crisis is that we need more Europe, not less…[ ]
…We need to find global governance and we need to find it based on some common values on which we can agree – democratic values.”
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)
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Greece Answer to the International Finance Crisis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Hellenic Parliament yesterday voted in favour of the €28 billion support package to shield the Greek banking sector. The concept behind government’s actions was to enhance the liquidity of the economy in response to the impact of the international financial crisis, using the banking system as a means to this end. Through the new law, funding is provided for economic growth, for boosting employment, small- and medium-sized enterprises and housing loans. Last week the European Union gave its approval, confirming the conformity of the draft with the respective European policy. After the European Commission’s green light, Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis carried out limited corrective changes to the bill, so as not to stir illicit competition between the banks of different countries. These changes are: Public guarantees can only last up to three years instead of five; the same reduction will be applied to public sector bonds. In addition, banks included in the €5 billion capital base support package will not be entitled to distribute dividends to their stockholders for as long as they partake in the plan. Ministry of Economy and Finance: The plan for enhancing liquidity in the Greek economy & The Draft Law & The Greek Economy at a glance ; Hellenic Bank Association: www.hba.gr European Commission: A quick guide to the EU’s response to the financial crisis