Greece’s former Prime Minister, Giorgos Papandreou, in his speech during an event held by the Greek Harvard Alumni association on Thursday, February 20, commented on the country’s current situation as well as his term in office. Papandreou stated that he intends to remain politically active claiming that he “never left” and that he “will always be here.”
The former Greek Prime Minister strongly criticized Greece’s EU partners, accusing them of not acting efficiently to limit the increasing deficit and debt. He also claimed that the Greek citizens who have made huge sacrifices, have the moral right and obligation to demand straight answers from the international community.
When asked about his choices and policy as Prime Minister, he claimed that he defended European Union’s values. He stated that his government managed to establish a supporting mechanism in record time and that they prevented Greece from experiencing a violent default in 2010, despite the huge debt. Regarding Greece’s future, Papandreou stressed the need for effective changes and structural reforms to the state’s foundations.
Concerning his involvement in the current NGO scandal and citizen’s lack of trust in political leaders, he noted that the existing NGO inspection framework was established during his term in office and admitted that it should have been stricter. However, he pointed out that media’s criticism has been hyperbolic as they are presenting NGOs as innately “evil” and useless. Papandreou stressed NGOs in Greece have played a vital diplomatic role in the Balkans and the Middle East.