ANA-MPA – Populism and extremism and their dangers were the main focus of the address Prime Minister Antonis Samaras delivered at the “Athens Forum 2014: Democracy under Pressure” event in Athens on Monday to celebrate the International Day of Democracy.
The forum is co-hosted by Kathimerini newspaper and the International New York Times and held in cooperation with the United Nations Democracy Fund as its principal global event for the International Day.
Referring to the main opposition party without naming it, Samaras said that “populism and extremism missed the opportunity to gain strength during the crisis; now that we are leaving the crisis they will subside.”
“I do not know many societies that could withstand such radical reforms in such a short time,” Samaras continued, pointing out that “despite the just complaints, the Greek people did not embrace extremism and populism. There will be no Weimar Republic in Greece.”
The premier listed the country’s achievements the last two years and said the primary surplus would be achieved for a second year in a row this year, while “Greece will meet its obligations in 2015 and we will have achieved the greatest fiscal adjustment ever taking place… We have made a leap forward in competitive rankings and, according to the World Bank, advanced by 111 positions… Unemployment – unbearably high – is dropping while the debt is also starting to nominally drop, as tourism has registered record levels. We also returned to markets two years prior to expectations.”
Speakers at the forum included government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and former prime minister Costas Simitis, among others.
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