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Greece: Opposition parties' reactions to Damanaki's statements

26. May 2011. | 06:57 07:00

Source: Emg.rs, ANA

A statement by Greece's EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki referring to the country's remaining in the eurozone drew reaction from opposition parties.

A statement by Greece's EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki referring to the country's remaining in the eurozone drew reaction from opposition parties.

Greece must make sacrifices to overcome its debt crisis or face the risk of leaving the eurozone and returning to the drachma, the European Commission's Greek representative warned Wednesday.

"The greatest (achievement) of post-war Greece -- the euro and the country's European course -- are in danger," fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said in a statement.

"The scenario of Greece distancing itself from the euro is on the table," the veteran Greek socialist said, stating that she was "forced to speak openly."

"We either agree with our creditors on a programme of tough sacrifices that brings results, and assume the responsibilities for our past, or we return to the drachma. The rest is secondary under today's conditions," she said.

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said "it is a great mistake for some to want to turn an economic problem into a problem of institutions. Dilemmas such as 'inside or outside Europe' and 'inside or outside the euro' not only do not help, but create confusion and harm the country seriously."

The Coalition's press office also stressed in an announcement that "Mrs. Damanaki's statements today, which reproduce yesterday's (Tuesday) position of the Sev (Federation of Hellenic Enterprises) president, are part of a wider planning, taht aim at creating a climate of intimidation of the people and their trapping in false dilemmas. They want to conceal the criminal responsibilities of the government for its antipopular policy and to facilitate the looting of public property and of society."

European Commission press spokesman for economic issues Amadeu Altafaj, called on to comment on a statement made on Wednesday by Greek Commissioner Maria Damanaki, said that at the eurozone's Council of ministers, where all issues concerning the single currency are discussed, no member-state has raised to date an issue of Greece's exit, or of whatever other country, from the eurozone.

Greece was jeopardising its continued membership of the eurozone unless the country agreed with the tough measures demanded by its EU-IMF creditors, Greek European Commissioner Maria Damanaki, responsible for maritime affairs and fisheries, had said.

"The greatest achievement of post-war Greece, the euro and the country's European course are at risk," Damanaki said, adding that the scenario for removing Greece from the euro area and the ways of bringing this about "are now on the table".


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