Papandreou Blames Caramanlis For Crisis

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 file photo Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses Socialist lawmaker members of parliament in Athens, in Athens, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

ATHENS – Former Prime Minister and one-time PASOK leader George Papandreou said New Democracy’s former leader Costas Karamanlis created the country’s economic crisis by not acting on warnings about its shortcomings.

Papandreou, saying “The money is there,” defeated his Conservative rival in the 2009 election but then swiftly asked for an international bailout when he discovered the country was essentially broke.

Karamanlis’ government was accused of presenting false figures to the European Union and Papandreou told SKAI TV that the International Monetary Fund, one of the country’s lenders, knew in 2005 the country had serious economic problems.

Papandreou resigned in November, 2011 after constant protests, strikes and riots against austerity measures he imposed and which led to the demise of PASOK, which went from 44 percent of the vote when he won to around 4 percent now.

Papandreou said that the IMF had arrived in Greece in 2005, during the then-Karamanlis administration.

“I learned this later … during an event at a US university, where the coordinator was a Mr. Banerji (sic), who was then responsible for Greece at the IMF,” he said.

Papandreou claimed that this IMF official told him he visited Greece in 2005 and told him that the state finances would spiral out of control.