Monday, September 13, 2010

Greece's Papandreou Defends Austerity Course

Wall Street Journal
September 13, 2010

Greece—Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou promised to ease the tax burden on businesses to spur investment, but he continued to rule out the possibility of a debt restructuring and he pledged to stick to a savings plan to shore up public finances.

Mr. Papandreou's closely scrutinized address at the Thessalonica international trade fair Saturday was accompanied by more public protests against unpopular austerity programs and a worsening recession.

This northern Greek city had been locked down since Wednesday with about 1,000 extra police officers called in to control mostly peaceful protests.

Mr. Papandreou resisted calls to provide more help for the socially vulnerable as the government cuts back on spending to meet stiff conditions set by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union for helping Greece avoid insolvency last May.


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