Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday ruled out the possibility of snap elections because of the country's economic and financial crisis amid growing pressure."We are a democratically elected government and we will honour to the fullest the mandate given to us by the Greek citizens. The citizens want changes, not elections," Papandreou said in an interview to Real News newspaper.If everyone continues working hard, "it will start showing at the level of the real economy", he said."If we all do our job, implementing a programme of great reforms... not only new measures won't be necessary, but we will quickly be able to restore whatever injustices were created by the urgency of our decisions," he added.
Papandreou categorically denied scenarios of the country returning to the drachma saying "not only there isn't an issue of the country exiting the euro, on the contrary, through this adventure we entered first because of the previous government, the euro will strengthen."
Main opposition New Democracy spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis said in response to the interview: "Such childish fireworks cannot hide the nakedness of the government whose own deputies ... call for elections."Precisely because they as well see the deadlock to which the country was led by Mr. Papandreou."Meanwhile, EU and IMF experts continue their regular audit of Greece's finances to determine if it will receive a sixth tranche of funds under its international bailout next month.The European Union and International Monetary Fund bailed out Athens last year with a package worth 110 billion euros ($160 billion) but the country remains in serious financial difficulty.The eurozone was under intense pressure from the markets to swiftly put into place a second rescue package for Greece as it was evident the first one would not be sufficient to keep Athens from defaulting on its loans.At an emergency meeting last month, eurozone countries agreed to provide Greece with another 109 billion euros, with an additional 50 billion euros in assistance to come from the private sector via a voluntary rollover of bonds.
But since that meeting, Finland has been seeking collateral for their portion of aid to be given to Greece and other eurozone countries are expressing interest to do the same, a move that could derail the quick approval of Athens' second bailout program, according to experts.