Karamanlis era caused debt crisis, Democratic Alliance tells main opposition ND

It was the 2004-2009 New Democracy governments under Costas Karamanlis that “led to the memorandums” and Greece’s exclusion from the markets, the opposition Democratic Alliance party said in an announcement on Thursday, criticising main opposition ND.

“All economists within and outside Greece concur that the crisis in Greece was summed up by the tragic twin deficits in competitiveness and public finances of 2009, which quickly evolved into a debt crisis,” the party said.
Among the figures it cited to support its claim, Democratic Alliance noted a 12.3 pct deficit in the current accounts balance in 2009, after it had hovered at around 15 pct in 2007-2008, and an accumulated primary deficit over the five years that reached 56.3 billion euros. In 2009 alone, the party pointed out, the Greek state had to borrow 24.018 billion euros to cover wages, pensions and other operating costs, in addition to the loans to refinance its debt.

“This is the tragic reality that the ND-Karamanlis government tried to hide by sending tampered statistical figures to Eurostat, as the official reports of the European Commission and European Parliament note, greatly shaking the faith of our EU partners and the markets,” it added.

“This is the crisis that brought the memorandums. As for the debt and the myths circulate by both the ‘populist’ and the ‘reformist’ right, the official figures triumphantly prove them wrong. The 2004-2009 five-year period is shown to be an extremely ‘spendthrift’ time of the post-junta era, in which the country’s debt as a percentage of GDP rose by an average of 5 pct a year,” the announcement said. It urged ND and the other political forces to agree to its proposal for a Parliamentary investigation into the economy from the time the country joined the euro until the present.

“The aim of our proposal is not to draw up indictments but for all of us together to look at what went wrong and, chiefly, how to decide on a national line for an exit from the crisis and the memorandums, leaving specific pathogenic practices behind us,” it added, denouncing what it called a “conspiracy of silence” about the Karamanlis era.