Prime Minister George Papandreou on September 10 sent a clear message to all that his government is determined to implement all measures agreed with its European partners and the IMF towards promoting structural reforms and cutting fiscal deficits to ensure the approval of a second support package for Greece and leading country out from its recent deep economic crisis.
In a traditional Prime Minister's speech to the country's political, social and business elite in Thessaloniki, on the occasion of the 76th Thessaloniki International Fair, the Premier expounded on the situation in Greece, expressing however confidence that the Greek people will prove wrong those who deride the country, those who believe it will fail.
"I want to be clear," Papandreou said. "We will make no discounts, nor will we backtrack on our program, [...] any delay, any other option than to adhere to our commitments would be dangerous for the country and its citizens. We will not let Greece become the scapegoat for the problems -institutional, populist political or other - currently prevailing in Europe," he stressed.
Among them, a property tax and a salary reduction to all elected officials, ranging from the president to the country’s mayors.
"This year, if we fully meet our targets, the primary deficit will be just € 1.8 billion, less than 1% of GDP. This means that if we implement our goals in 2012 as well, then next year we will have a primary surplus of € 3.0 billion for the first time. In other words, in March-April we will reach primary surpluses," Venizelos said. He also added that the 2012 draft budget will be tabled on October 3.