24 November, 2009
SANTO DOMINGO (ANA-MPA/V. Mourtis)
Prime Minister, PASOK party leader and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou, addressing Monday morning's session of the Socialist International's Conference in the Dominican Republic, stressed "the progressive and socialist forces have a great responsibility to forge ahead and be carriers of change today that the system has failed."
Papandreou further said that the economic crisis, the environmental crisis and the energy crisis require the deepening of democracy, the strengthening of social justice, green change and a new growth model to be tackled.
He also referred to the "differences between progressive and conservative forces," pointing out that for the "progressists the basic principle and credo is man first."
Focusing on the global economic crisis and its other parametres, the prime minister stressed that "unless it is intercepted and, on the contrary, the crisis continues, most indexes will worsen." He further noted that global mutual dependence exists and all together are sharing the negative consequences of the crisis.
Papandreou said that among the first priorities that must be set by the progressists and the socialists to enable many problems to he handled, is green growth, through which new investments can be made, agriculture and tourism to develop and ways of confronting unemployment to be found through them.
The prime minister also referred to the "good work done by the Socialist International's relevant committee on climatic change, work that shows the path to arrive from the economy of high pollutants to a society of low pollutants."
Papandreou also said that the economic crisis, the food crisis, the energy and environmental crisis constitute great threats for the planet, adding that they can create new tensions and conflicts in a new geopolitical reality.
He also focused on the considerable repercussions of these crises on developing countries that were also struck by pandemics and which are aggravating the already existing crisis even more.
He referred to data of the Internatiaonal Labour Organisation, stressing that according to them in 2009 the number of unemployed worldwide will increase by 18 to 30 million compared to 2007.
According to one scenario, 200 million people from the developing countries might possibly be found under the poverty level and the largest part of them will be women and young people.
In order for these problems to be tackled, Papandreou said that the big global players, as he termed the big countries that influence decisions most, must provide economic and development aid for the developing countries.
Papandreou also underlined that progressive forces are committed absolutely not to tolerate unemployment, since labour is a top priority for these forces.
He further noted that it should not be forgotten that in many cases the economic crisis has been used by conservative forces to curb social justice, social security, the welfare state and other social rights that the labour movement had achieved with many and longlasting struggles.
The prime minister also commented on the election of Barack Obama which, as he said, "has boosted prospects for constructive global cooperation".
Lastly, Papandreou stressed the need for the deepening of democracy, adding that the SI must show its solidarity to those living in countries having authoritarian regimes, underlining that "democracy does not only mean elections every four years".
Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis, speaking during the Socialist International's Council on Monday, stressed that the promotion of the problem climatic change as the top issue of the International's directorate is of great importance.
Kouvelis noted that there are two considerable symbolisms, "the first that this issue is being discussed just two weeks before the international Copenhagen conference and the second is that the Council's session is taking place in the engine room of the global climate," as he termed the region of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico from where the air stream known as the Gulf Stream comes from.
He also said that it is essential that the 2 percent limit is observed regarding the increase in temperature.
Source: Athens News Agency