Samaras: Greeks don’t want early elections

Greeks don’t want early elections and will punish those who try to force them, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said at an event organised by the Hellenic Conferederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE), adding lawmakers will have to behave responsibly.

The premier attacked the main opposition for its persistence on the issue of the Greek president. “They try to block the country’s path with threats of early elections, using as a ‘vehicle’ the election of a new President of the Republic and violating the spirit of the constitution.”

He stressed that for months now, some people have been causing instability and creating uncertainty abroad, which the government dissolved by bringing forward the presidential election by a month and a half.

“We didn’t have the right to do anything else. The (European) Commission described the move as a democratic decision. It was an act of responsibility,” Samaras stressed and said that the political scene must clarify now and lawmakers have a responsibility to recall what happened, what the repercussions of their actions will be and then take their decision.

“People don’t want elections, the markets don’t want elections, stock markets are falling because they’re afraid of the opposition’s plans,” the prime minister noted, reminding his audience that the opposition supports a closed economy and statism and threatens to push the country out of the Eurozone.

Samaras said lies were told, including accusations of attempted bribery of MPs to vote for a president, in order to single out those who decide to vote in favour of the governmet’s candidate. “Ideological terrorism will not succeed. Now they’re spreading rumours that Stavros Dimas (the government’s candidate) will not be a candidate in all three rounds of voting. People will punish the one who is trying to force early elections,” he said.

“Populism destroyed the country and statism destroyed the economy,” Samaras said, adding that the country is now entering a new era.

“Some people are giving the ultimate battle to stop it and return us to the bankrupt past. It is the time of truth and responsibility for everyone. What’s at stake these days is normality and growth,” the prime minister said in his speech, expressing his certainty that truth and democratic responsibility will win and Greece will quickly move forward.

The Greek premier then made a brief review of the government’s work and continued to say that in three to four years, Greece will reach one of the top positions in global competitiveness. He said recession ended, growth is returning and unemployment is falling steadily. Samaras also stressed that Greece recorded the biggest growth in the third quarter of 2014 in the Eurozone and the country forayed into the markets two years earlier than expected.

The government’s target has always been to exit the bailout programme earlier than anticipated and it succeeded, he noted. “Greece is standing on its own feet and some people are trying to cancel that.”