ATHENS, April 28 (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the euro zone member state was ready to make the changes needed to emerge from its debt crisis.

Following are comments from his speech to an economic conference in Athens.


The interest rates on our bonds today is... prohibitive. This is yet further proof the markets do not regulate themselves and they do not, by definition, function rationally.

Interest rates on loans to Greece today are beyond any logic, and this reflects on the one hand a total loss of sobriety on the markets and on the other hand the power of speculative pressure exerted on our country.

Yes, we Greeks do have our special problems. And we are dealing with them.

Yet let this be a clarion call for the wider emergency we are facing, which needs global governance, global financial governance, and we need it fast.

We cannot let a small fire, because Greece is only 2 to 3 percent of GDP of the European Union, rage out of control.

Time has proven to be the most expensive commodity... now that the markets are in crisis.

Our political and economic outlines can give us the time, but the markets will choose to give us the date.

We ask for no bailout, we are only asking for reasonable terms on our loans, so that we can carry on with more creative, more innovative work.


We asked and we received the aid mechanism not because it will get us out of debt and we will go back to the same situation, but in order for Greece to get support for these great changes.


Concerning the fiscal issues, we have already moved ahead to reduce our budget deficit in 2010 by at least 4 percent (of GDP) with measures such as the increase of VAT rates.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; compiled by Michael Winfrey)