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George Papandreou's Quotes

George Papandreou profile photo

Born: 1952-06-16
Profession: Statesman
Nation: Greek
Biography of George Papandreou

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I have been supporting the European Union, but we are still a work in progress. We have to become more of a United States of Europe. We should talk about electing a president of the E.U., rather than having one selected from the heads of government.

Tags: Become, Government, Work

I think there is a heritage which I'm proud of, which is a fight for democracy, a fight for social justice, a fight for freedom. My grandfather went to jail or exile six times in his life, fighting for his principles for democracy, or for his country. And my father twice.

Tags: Father, Freedom, Life

I would say we are a friend in need and I am sure that the Greek people would very much welcome the choice of the British people to come and enjoy Greece, first of all, but also that would be a sign of support.

Tags: Choice, Enjoy, Friend

If Greece had gone through a very normal political life, I may have not been in politics. But just the fact that I lived through huge upheavals and very difficult struggles and polarization and the barbarism of dictatorships - that made me feel that we had to change this country.

Tags: Change, Life, Politics

If we were going to default, we would have decided that many months ago. It would be wrong for the Greek economy, it would be wrong for the European economy, it would make things worse in the end. That's why we're taking the pain and making these structural reforms, and we're on target.

Tags: End, Pain, Why

If we were the problem, it would be very convenient - kick Greece out, everything's fine. What would happen to Spain, what about Portugal, what about Italy, what about the whole of the euro zone? We need more cooperation and less simplification and prejudice.

Tags: Happen, Problem, Whole

Many people have been pontificating, and patronizing, and moralizing, and scapegoating, saying you Greeks, you are the problem. I would say we Greeks have a problem. We are not the problem.

Tags: Greeks, Problem, Saying

Markets are saying pretty much what I'm saying too: that Greece is doing what it can, but that Greece is not going to be able to carry the weight of all of Europe and the other problems that Europe has.

Tags: Pretty, Problems, Saying

Markets themselves are looking for stability, and I think we have underestimated the capacity of Europe... to actually create a more stable framework for the whole issue of debt management, bonds, and so on.

Tags: Looking, Themselves, Whole

The fact that we're going through a crisis is an opportunity for Europe to be more coordinated and more integrated. We're actually talking about a European Monetary Fund or euro bonds, about guarantees for countries, about economic governance in the European Union. That shows the strength of Europe.

Tags: Crisis, Fact, Strength

The Greek people do not want to exit the euro. And I believe the Greek people already have shown that they have made major sacrifices to stay in the euro zone.

Tags: Greek, Sacrifices, Stay

The Marshall Plan was after destruction, and the U.S. came to our help and obviously this was very, very important for the future of Europe. I think now we have all the capabilities of doing it on our own and, in a sense, we have to.

Tags: After, Future, Help

The unemployed in Greece can get a voucher and choose a training program somewhere in Europe to be retrained during this crisis and when this crisis is over, we make sure that that person hasn't fallen off the cliff and can come back into the labor market with new skills to find a job.

Tags: Crisis, Job, Training

Very often, people will come out and say, 'Greeks aren't doing things, Greeks aren't making changes, there's no reform,' That is hogwash. We have made a huge effort. The Greek people have made a huge effort.

Tags: Effort, Making, Often

We Greeks want change. We know there are problems in our system. We have great potential but we need to manage our country well. Now that hasn't been done over the last decades. And that is, of course, what we are paying for.

Tags: Change, Done, Great

We have made major reforms in Greece. When I took over after a landslide victory we had a mandate for change and I knew my major focus would be re-organizing the state.

Tags: After, Change, Focus

We tend to separate two crises going on in the same neighborhood, southern Europe's financial crisis and northern Africa's Arab Spring. Now that we have found new energy resources in this region, we can really develop green energy including solar and wind. Why not have a green Marshall Plan, which will bring in investments and stabilize the region.

Tags: Crisis, Spring, Why

There is this concept of politics as a dirty game. It's a difficult game, but it doesn't have to be dirty. I think this is what we need to bring to politics. I think politics around the world has very often been captured by big interests - 'lobbies' they call them in the States.

Tags: Big, Game, Politics

Despite the deep reforms we are making, traders and speculators have forced interest rates on Greek bonds to record highs.

Tags: Deep, Interest, Making

Every leader wants to put his or her imprint on the work that they do, and grow up in specific eras.

Tags: Leader, Put, Work

Greece's history in the drachma was an up-and-down history, a roller coaster.

Tags: Greece, History, Roller

I have a deep sense of responsibility to my country and Greek people.

Tags: Country, Deep, Sense

I have always said I will be in politics to serve as best as I can and it will take me wherever it will take me.

Tags: Best, Politics, Said

I would like to see Greece as a case study, an opportunity for Europe to strengthen its coordination of fiscal policy.

Tags: Europe, Policy, Study

If you put all the European countries together, we are the biggest economy in the world.

Tags: Economy, Put, Together

In ancient Greece, politics and the market were not decoupled.

Tags: Ancient, Market, Politics
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My hope is that we will turn Greece into maybe the most transparent country in the world with everything on the web.

Tags: Country, Hope, Turn

Previous governments, particularly the one before I took over, mismanaged the economy quite badly.

Tags: Economy, Quite, Took

The more there is a European solution to a theoretical, but possible, problem in the markets, the less we will have to talk about an I.M.F. solution.

Tags: Less, Problem, Talk

The real problem in Greece is not cutting taxes, it's making sure that we don't have tax evasion.

Tags: Making, Problem, Real

The structures in Europe in a globalising economy need to be modernised, need to be more integrated, need to be stronger.

Tags: Economy, Europe, Stronger

We had about 60 regions in Greece and now there are only 13. It'd be like cutting down 50 states to 13 and making it more efficient.

Tags: Cutting, Greece, Making

We have a rise of extremism because we need to give a sense that we are targeting some of the deeper problems in Greece, the injustices.

Tags: Give, Problems, Sense

We in Europe have great capacities.

Tags: Capacities, Europe, Great

As long as I feel I am doing what I think is right and just for my country, for the Greek people, that is enough for me. Saving Greece from this crisis was the first thing on the agenda. We are now on a much more normalised road.

Tags: Country, Crisis, Enough

At times of distress, we all like to recall the advice of fathers and mothers. The best advice my father gave me was to keep faith and deep confidence in the potential of the Greek people; nurture the belief that they can do things.

Tags: Best, Faith, Father

But sovereign debt is a wider question not only in Europe but across the globe. While every country is a unique case, I think it's not an issue of countries acting on their own. We need a more coordinated strategy not only in Europe but around the world.

Tags: Acting, Country, Question

Countries are not like financial markets. Social change cannot be executed as swiftly as credit-default swaps. You cannot sell short on social commitments and practical responsibilities.

Tags: Cannot, Change, Short

Europe is a strong market for the U.S. If it has problems, if there's a lack of consumer confidence, if there's a deeper recession, this will deeply affect jobs in the U.S.

Tags: Confidence, Problems, Strong

First of all, Greece won't go down. We're talking about a country that is capable of making change. Europe will not allow the destabilization of the 27-country euro zone. But if there were no action, then markets would start becoming jittery about other countries - and not only Spain and Portugal, but other countries in the European Union.

Tags: Change, Country, Start

Greece has great strengths, but much of this potential has been wasted. That's because of a wider political system, but also because of a lack of an institutional framework.

Tags: Great, Political, System

How can a parliamentarian or a leader in a country say, on the one hand, that we're going to support Greece but at the same time say that Greeks are lazy?

Tags: Country, Lazy, Time

I never thought of politics as a profession.

Tags: Politics, Profession, Thought

There are certain moments in the history of a nation when the choices made define the decades to come.

Tags: Choices, History, Nation

Unfortunately, corruption is widespread in government agencies and public enterprises. Our political system promotes nepotism and wasting money. This has undermined our legal system and confidence in the functioning of the state. One of the consequences is that many citizens don't pay their taxes.

Tags: Government, Legal, Money

I never thought about becoming a politician. But during the military dictatorship, my grandfather was put in prison six times and my father twice. If my family and my country didn't have this history, I might be a professor somewhere today.

Tags: Family, History, Today

Already people are saying we do need a change.

Tags: Change, Saying

As long as I feel I am doing what I think is right and just for my country, for the Greek people, that is enough for me.

Tags: Country, Enough, Greek

Europe has a lot of strength. We need to pool that strength, and I am very much in favour of that - more of a deeper political union.

Tags: Political, Strength, Union

Everyone needs to carry out his own personal revolution.

Tags: Everyone, Personal, Revolution

I am proud of being a Greek of the diaspora.

Tags: Greek, Proud

I will always be upfront with the Greek people, so we can solve the country's problems together.

Tags: Country, Problems, Together

If we had a consensus we wouldn't have to go to a referendum.

Tags: Consensus, Referendum

It is important that the Greek people make decisions on important developments.

Tags: Decisions, Greek

There is this concept of politics as a dirty game.

Tags: Dirty, Game, Politics

This idea that you're a successful tough guy if you evade taxes and deceive the state has got to change.

Tags: Change, Successful, Tough

We are on a difficult course, on a new Odyssey for Greece, but we know the road to Ithaca and have charted the waters.

Tags: Difficult, Greece, Road

We stand united, facing the big responsibility to change our country into a nation of justice, solidarity, humanity and green development.

Tags: Change, Humanity, Justice

We're very proud to be part of the eurozone. But this comes with obligations and it is crucial we show the world we can live up to those obligations.

Tags: Crucial, Proud, Show

When I was growing up in the United States and Sweden, I never thought about becoming a politician.

Tags: Growing, Thought, United

You can theorise about the options you have but in reality they are very specific.

Tags: Options, Reality, Specific

Greece has given Europe the opportunity to fix a defect in the euro zone, that is the fact that we did not have a fiscal union. Now steps have been taken to begin that process. And there is more solidarity from nation to nation, and that is a good thing. That has been Greece's gift to Europe.

Tags: Fact, Good, Nation

If Greece had gone through a very normal political life, I may have not been in politics. But just the fact that I lived through huge upheavals and very difficult struggles and polarisation and the barbarism of dictatorships - that made me feel that we had to change this country.

Tags: Change, Life, Politics

People would say you look weak if you're not cursing the opposition and driving around in a big black car while always wearing a tie. Above all, to be 'strong' you're always supposed to be giving orders.

Tags: Car, Giving, Strong

Politics also means educating people. It's important to speak openly with our fellow Greeks, to tell them what our problems are and that we have to change something.

Tags: Change, Politics, Problems

Today I want to send a message of optismism to all Greeks. Our road, our path, will be more stabilised. Our country will be in a better situation. We will be stronger.

Tags: Country, Path, Today

We are a country with great potential. We have the political will to make deep changes in a just and equitable way, to put our country back on a development path, to meet the challenges of a new world.

Tags: Deep, Great, Political
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