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SPIEGEL Interview with Greek Prime Minister Papandreou

'It's a Question of Survival for Greece'

23. February 2010. | 09:06

Source: EMportal

Prime minister George Papandreou expressed his determination to implement tough economic reforms, despite labor strikes in protest of the measures, which he admitted "will be very painful", in an interview with the German magazine Spiegel to appear in Monday's edition.

Prime minister George Papandreou expressed his determination to implement tough economic reforms, despite labor strikes in protest of the measures, which he admitted "will be very painful", in an interview with the German magazine Spiegel to appear in Monday's edition.

"We have the support of the population. The trade unions know that too. I am determined to maintain my stance," the Greek premier said.

"We all know that the whole thing will be very painful. This is about the survival of our country," he added.

The premier expressed confidence that Greece can achieve the ambitions reduction in the budget deficit by clamping down on corruption and excessive state spending.

"If our state functioned well, there would be little room for cuts. But since there is so much waste everywhere, we can save a lot, too," Papandreou said.

"We need to understand the crisis as a chance to launch the necessary reforms," the premier said.

He said that Greece was not "asking for money from Germany, even if it is sometimes presented like that", stressing that the country needs access to credit under the same conditions as other eurozone countries, in order to implement reforms.

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