Bloomberg News

Industry Chief Says June Ballot Test of Greece’s Will to Change

May 31, 2012

The head of Greece’s biggest industry group said the country’s June 17 elections will determine whether the country is ready and willing to make changes that will ensure its place in Europe and the euro.

Political parties are to blame for the crisis that has led to two international rescues, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, president of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, said in a speech in Athens today, according to an e-mailed transcript. They remain unable to set out a realistic plan that will lead the country out of the crisis, he said.

“In practice all of them are against the bailout, even the parties that signed the two memoranda,” Daskalopoulos said. “The entire political system today is promising to renegotiate the terms of the aid extended to us by our partners. But they aren’t presenting a complete and realistic plan to negotiate and they are silent on the issue of structural changes.”

Daskalopoulos said the dilemma at the elections wasn’t about choosing between the euro or the drachma, or of being in Europe or outside it.

“The people and main political parties have answered these questions already,” he said. “What’s left to be answered is if Greek society truly wants to change and if there are political and social actors able to realise this leap of change.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Maria Petrakis in Athens at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at

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