08 November, 2010
In an late on Sunday night (November 7), Prime Minister George Papandreou said that he would not lead the country to early general elections. Speaking after the first solid results in local government polls began to emerge, the premier stressed that the result confirmed that people still wanted the changes they had voted for a year ago.
The prime minister stressed that Greece urgently needed a change of direction and that the previous economic and social model had failed.
"We have changed the direction and we must now complete the effort and function with a different outlook," he added.
"During one year of PASOK governance we refuted those who considered that the country had no future," he stressed, adding that the difficult effort had to continue with better terms and conditions.
He stressed that he had undertaken the country's helm at a difficult time and that the effort underway was the effort of all Greeks, not just that of the government.
According to the premier, the main priorities for the country were to put public finances in order and drastically reduce deficits in order to bring public debt under control, reduce state spending and radically overhaul the state sector, and stabilise the economy by restoring a growth trajectory.
"We have the plan and the will to succeed," he said but stressed that there was no easy way and no magic solutions.
Papandreou expressed concern over the high levels of abstention during the regional and municipal elections, urging those that had abstained to cast their vote in the second round of run-off elections. "We need all the forces of the country in this effort [to emerge from the crisis]," he emphasised.
He also appealed to social partners, stressing that this was a national effort that had no room for petty party politics and attitudes.
Finally, he thanked all those that participated in the election under the new Kallikratis plan and stressed that this had been the first great step to the largest decentralisation of power that had ever been carried out by a Greek government.
Source: Athens News Agency