The Greek prime minister has called for national unity to fight a financial crisis caused by the crushing public debt. George Papandreou addressed his socialist party before a debate in parliament on next year’s budget. He urged the country to work together, saying Greece must put its house in order:
“I want to make this very clear,” he said. “While we are in this unprecedented crisis, I am calling for a national mobilisation of political parties, business, the unions and the people. We are going to make it, despite the depth and seriousness of the crisis. Together we will turn this into an opportunity.”
Last week Papandreou met other political leaders as he unveiled budget cuts to tackle the deficit, which has seen Greece’s international credit rating reduced, and which some experts say could threaten other European economies.
Many Greeks acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and accept that urgent action is needed, even if painful. But others promise to fight any cuts saying they would destroy Greece’s social security system and undermine workers’ rights.