Former Greek socialist PASOK prime minister George Papandreou was interviewed by Nikos Hadjinikolaou on radio show, Realfm 97.8. Speaking about his election campaign while Greece was on the verge of an economic crisis, he said that he had not realized the grave situation that the country was in when he uttered the infamous phrase, “There’s money!” He says that he only realized the seriousness of the crisis 5-6 months later.
Papandreou continues to believe that “There’s money,” but only if correct use of funds are made. He said that the few funds that Greece has access to need to be used properly so that the country can deal with the problems it is facing. He said that if he had been able to continue with reforms he had been making then there would have been the money that Greece needs. One example is the reduction of the cleaning costs for Aristotle University of Thessaloniki that managed to reduce its operations by 2 million euros per year during his tenure at the helm of Greece.
“In my pre-election campaign I said that ‘there’s money’ provided the state functions correctly,” he said. “I am even more convinced of this today.”
Furthermore, Papandreou said that he was surprised when he took the leadership and saw the real state of the economy. “The government has the responsibility to inform the parliament and operation about the real state of the economy and the government of (Kostas) Karamanlis had not done this,” he said, adding that the EU and the International Monetary Fund were also responsible for allowing the situation to get out of hand.