ATHENS – With the Greek stock market taking a hammering over political instability and worries about the government’s plan to take an early exit from bailouts, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sought to bring reassurance to investors.
“The government will not allow any deviation from… political stability and from an economic policy driven by adjustment and reforms,” said the premier, according to a statement issued to the media after a Cabinet meeting with his ministers.
After seeing the stock market fall 6.25 percent and the yield on 10-year bonds rise to as high as 7.85 percent, Samaras used his opening address to ministers as an attempt to counter the apparent panic over Greece’s prospects.
“We restored Greece’s trustworthiness with a lot of effort,” he added. “Now that this is bearing fruit, we will not allow anyone or anything to undermine it,” he said.
The backdrop of anxiety includes a push by the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), which is leading in polls, to force early national elections by hoping to block election of a Greek President in February, 2015.
That requires 180 votes in the 30o-member Parliament but the ruling coalition of Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives and its partner the PASOK Socialists has only 155.
Samaras though said he believes a solution will be found and that his government will finish out its term, which goes to 2016, but the political instability has rattled investors, especially coming with Wall Street taking a big plunge and fears exacerbated my Mideast conflicts and a world in turmoil.
Samaras suggested that SYRIZA’s stance is to blame for investors’ growing skepticism about Greece.
“We are strengthening the country step by step… and we are avoiding what others want, which is for us to clash with our partners from a position of weakness,” he said. “They [SYRIZA] know that soon it will be too late for them. Greece will keep improving from now on and that scares them, they want to prevent it.”
Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, the PASOK leader, also blamed the markets’ reaction on “doubts about political stability.” He warned that the feud between the government and SYRIZA could have an impact on Greece’s fragile position.
“Everyone has to understand that whatever we do here in Greece is immediately magnified, exported and can work in the country’s favor or against it,” he said.
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