Photo: AP/Petros Giannakouris
The leader of the Greek party New Democracy, which had been the primary opposition party before former PM George Papandreou was ousted in early November, promised to continue the reform program if his party was elected later this spring, according to Bloomberg.Antonis Samaras detailed his commitment to the Greek bailout program in a letter to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, the IMF, and finance ministers of the eurozone.
This comes amid rising unhappiness from the Greek populace about the adoption of unpopular austerity measures. This led to massive protests beginning last week that turned violent.
While Samaras said he was committed the the program’s objectives as well as the private sector debt restructuring plan, however, according to Capital.gr (via @EfiEfthimiou) he suggested that certain modifications within the framework of the program could be necessary.
As satisfaction with the Greek government tanks, investors have worried that a change in government in upcoming elections would spell the end of willingness to pursue the harsh austerity program the EU and IMF have demanded.
From MNI, here’s the text of that letter:
“As I have already stated in my letter to you of November 23, 2011,
my Party, Nea Demokratia, is committed to the stabilisation Program’s
objectives and key policies and to their successful implementation. The
same holds, of course, for the MoU/MEFP, which was voted last Sunday by
the Greek Parliament via a large majority of MP’s. In particular my
Party is committed:
To promote competitiveness and growth, support the deep
structural reforms in the labour, product and service markets and the
ambitious privatization plan under the program. The agreed adjustment of
labour market parameters, will hopefully give a strong upfront impetus to
promote employment and economic activity. This is especially true for an
economy already in deep recession for many years and whose unemployment
level is well over 20%.
To restore market confidence and fiscal sustainability, while
protecting the vulnerable members of the population. We support upfront
implementation of structural spending measures and continued efforts to
control spending and prevent arrears, already reaching 3% of GDP.
Indeed, bold revenue reforms should deliver a fairer distribution of the
tax burden and should stem tax evasion.
To help secure financial stability. We support the implementation
of the program’s comprehensive banking sector strategy, through stronger
resolution and financial oversight framework and banks’ recapitalization
plans, which are aimed both at ensuring the promotion of public interest
and at respecting banks’ business autonomy.
We are obviously committed to a rapid implementation of the
official sector and PSI financial strategy with our European partners.
This will help Greece achieve its targeted fiscal sustainability
objectives and provide the necessary financing to support our country’s
adjustment and reform efforts.
If Nea Demokratia wins the next election in Greece, we will remain
committed to the Program’s objectives, targets and key policies as
described in the MoU/MEFP.
As I have already stated in my previous letter (of November
23, 2011), we continue to give “great emphasis to allowing for prompt
recovery, so that public revenues generated will help us achieve the
Indeed, prioritizing recovery along with the other objectives, will
only make the Program more effective and the adjustment effort more
Therefore, as my previous letter underlines, policy modifications
might be required to guarantee the full Program’s implementation. And,
once again, we intend to bring these issues to discussion along with
viable policy alternatives, strictly within the framework outlined by
the Program, so that the achievement of its objectives will not be put
Antonis C. Samaras
President of Nea Demokratia