News24

Greece: Unity urged amid austerity dissent

2012-10-26 21:03

Athens - Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday said the recession-hit country could only hope to recover through unity as he sought to overcome dissent within his government to a new package of austerity measures.

"Only one enemy can beat us, and that is discord," Samaras said in Thessaloniki, where he opened a three-day celebration to mark the centennial of the city's return to Greece as a result of the victorious Balkan Wars.

Samaras has been trying to persuade his coalition allies to accept the austerity measures in order to close a deal that will open access to loans from Greece's financial rescue package from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank.

The moderate leftist and socialist parties supporting his government continue to oppose an additional labour reform demanded by the so-called 'troika' of creditors.

"I promise you that... in less than ten years... Greece will be better and much stronger than today, as long as we stay united," Samaras said.

He noted that Greece managed to double its territory after the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars just 15 years after it lost a disastrous war to the Ottoman Empire in 1897 and had itself placed under international economic control.

It had also gone bankrupt in 1893, a fate it is again trying to avoid today.

"Despite bankruptcy and international control, Greece rose again and managed to turn its weakness into strength," Samaras said.