Sa­ma­ras presents his own pro­gram

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A few days be­fore the gov­ern­ment is to sub­mit in Par­lia­ment a midterm pro­gram fore­see­ing cuts to pub­lic spend­ing, tax in­creases and an am­bi­tious pri­va­ti­za­tion drive, the leader of main op­po­si­tion New Democ­racy pre­sented his party’s al­ter­na­tive pro­gram, say­ing that the debt-wracked econ­omy needed a “cre­ative shock” if it is to re­cover.

“The peo­ple want pledges that will give them some con­fi­dence,” Sa­ma­ras said at Zappeio Hall. The con­ser­va­tive leader de­fended his de­ci­sion to vote against the mem­o­ran­dum – Greece’s agree­ment with its for­eign cred­i­tors – and ap­peared to cast him­self as a leader-in-wait­ing, hint­ing at the need for early elec­tions. “I know where I’m go­ing. I know what the coun­try needs,” he de­clared.

His com­ments came as a sur­vey car­ried out for Skai by Pub­lic Is­sue showed the dif­fer­ence be­tween voter sup­port for rul­ing PASOK and ND nar­row­ing to 3 per­cent, com­pared to 5.5 per­cent in April.

Sa­ma­ras said that his party had drafted a “re­al­is­tic” pro­gram that would “re­boot the econ­omy.” ND’s pro­pos­als in­clude lev­el­ing cor­po­rate tax to 15 per­cent and the le­git­imiza­tion of all build­ings con­structed out­side the town plan. The lat­ter mea­sure would bring in 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros in the first year, Sa­ma­ras said. He also called for the full pri­va­ti­za­tion of the Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion and ef­forts to at­tract di­as­pora Greeks as in­vestors.

Gov­ern­ment spokesman Gior­gos Pe­talo­tis said that some of ND’s pro­pos­als were “un­fea­si­ble” while oth­ers had al­ready been made by the gov­ern­ment. He called on ND to fol­low the ex­am­ple of Por­tu­gal, where the gov­ern­ment and op­po­si­tion have reached con­sen­sus on aus­ter­ity mea­sures. Sa­ma­ras ap­peared to rule out the prospect yes­ter­day, say­ing: “A con­sen­sus on what? On what I dis­agree with? On what is ru­in­ing my coun­try?”

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