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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-04-16

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] "No need for gov't reshuffle,' Sioufas says after meeting with PM Karamanlis
  • [02] Pavlopoulos addresses event on 'The administrative and fiscal self-determination of local government'
  • [03] Deputy FM Valynakis briefs EU foreign ministers on latest developments in FYROM name issue
  • [04] Roussopoulos says Greek citizens show confidence in gov't 'in such a difficult moment'
  • [05] SYN leader Alavanos speaks on political, economic developments

  • [01] "No need for gov't reshuffle,' Sioufas says after meeting with PM Karamanlis

    "There is no need for a government reshuffle and none will be made," Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas told reporters on Saturday following a meeing he had at the Maximos Mansion with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    "The government goes forth under the directions of the prime minister, a coordinator is not required," Sioufas said, posing the question to the reporters:"I am surprised that you bring this issue up every time and which is denied."

    The minister said that the government is going ahead well, that the course is dynamic and that "the Greek people are aware of this and gives their full backing to the government and the prime minister."

    The development minister, like Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis, met with the prime minister on Saturday morning to discuss economic policy. The two ministers left the Maximos Mansion together.

    Alogoskoufis stated that "the government is strengthening the development course and is confronting the development of the regions and of investments." He added that the implementation of the development law is proceeding, as is the procedure of privatisations."

    Asked to comment on proposals made by General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos regarding the social insurance issue, Alogoskoufis replied that "the government has raised these matters to the Social and Economic Committee in order for them to be evaluated," while at the same time "it also wishes a political dialogue with the parties in Parliament." He noted that whatever solutions are reached will take time and not in the immediate future. He added that "the government will continue the dialogue and wishes consensus which in any case is necessary for such types of matters."

    On his part, Development Minister Sioufas said that under discussion were development matters, the development law "which has very good prospects" and noted that the government's planning and preoccupation is for the regions. He further said that "the the government gives particular importance to the strengthening of business activity and to competitiveness."

    Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos also met on Saturday morning withg Prime Minister Karamanlis and noted that these meetings with the premier are held on a daily basis. However, Pavlopoulos clarified that his meeting on Saturday concerned immigration policy, as on Tuesday, a relavenat draft law will be tabled in Parliament for debate, adding that the last details were determined with the prime minister.

    [02] Pavlopoulos addresses event on 'The administrative and fiscal self-determination of local government'

    Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos addressed an event in Athens on Saturday on "The administrative and fiscal self-determination of local government" which was organised by the Greek Society of Local Development and Self-Determination (EETAA).

    Pavlopoulos noted that local government today proves that it has become a significant body which paves and exerts policies and actions, given that a large part of public issues are implemented on a local level. However, this development is not hapless of problems or weaknesses, he said.

    Some of these problems, the minister said, is the insufficiency of infrasructure, weakness in organisation and management and a lack of information regarding the institutional framework of the action of local government.

    Taking part in the event were mainly legal consultants and legal representatives of local government who expounded on the weaknesses which local government is presently facing. Issues discussed were the relations between the state and local government, and particularly matters which concern administrative supervision and fiscal checks.

    [03] Deputy FM Valynakis briefs EU foreign ministers on latest developments in FYROM name issue

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis told Greece's state-run NET television station on Saturday evening that "during the informal meeting of the foreign ministers which just finished in Luxembourg, we discussed a series of issues concerning the European Union's relations with countries such as China, the Caucasus, the Middle East, as well as on Euro-Mediterranean relations."

    According to a foreign ministry press release in Athens, Valynakis further said:"I also had the opportunity to brief my colleagues, both at the meetings and with all of them together, on the latest developments regarding the negotiations for finding a solution to the issue of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Our partners heard with interest the developments.

    "Summing up, the Presidency stressed that the position of the European Union is the finding of a mutually acceptable solution on the matter of the name. In a few days time it will have a meeting with Skopje and it is awaited that this issue to be raised within the framework also of the known developments: Skopje is knocking on the door of the European Union and the European Union is preparing its own answer on this matter.

    "I also had the opportunity to brief on the latest developments on the matter of the ratification of the European Constitution by the Greek Parliament, but also on Greek-Turkish relations and the visit of Foreign Minister Mr. (Petros) Molyviatis to Ankara," Deputy Foreign Minister Valynakis concluded.

    [04] Roussopoulos says Greek citizens show confidence in gov't 'in such a difficult moment'

    Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, responding to questions by reporters regarding an opion poll which shows that the ruling New Democracy (ND) party is leading by 1.4 percentage points, said on Saturday that "it is a very important fact that in the most difficult moment of the government, at a moment when the government was obliged to take measures which are not particularly popular, to confront the enormous economic problems which PASOK left behind, it continues to lead."

    Roussopoulos, who, as he said views opinion polls as useful tools and usually does not comment on them, made an exception to the rule by saying that "this shows that the New Democracy has won the confidence of the Greek citizens. We looked at the citizens with honesty in the eyes and spoke to them on the strategic target of the two-year period, at the end of which we will have achieved things which were never achieved in the past. All these efforts constitute a basis for a better future. We care for the future of the Greek citizens. We care for the future of our children with safety and security, so as to create an economic environment very much stronger than that which we, unfortunately, inherited from PASOK, and with a much better image of the country also in the European Union."

    The government spokesman went on to say:"Therefore, when in such a difficult moment, all the messages are positive for the government, it shows that the Greek citizens have confidence in the New Democracy to solve these problems. And we tell them that we will continue the struggle to manage, at the end of the two-year period, for us to have an even better Greece. A Greece more competitive in the international environment. A Greece which will offer more jobs to the youth who are waiting. A Greece which will give greater security to the tomorrow of the economy of every citizen separately, and naturally the country's economy totally."

    [05] SYN leader Alavanos speaks on political, economic developments

    The sessions of the organising-charter congress of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) began on Saturday and will conclude on Sunday with a vote. It has as its theme "Party reconstruction-charter changes".

    The sessions were opened by party leader Alekos Alavanos with a speech on political developments.

    Speaking on the social insurance issue, Alavanos said that "the official opening by the government of the labour and social insurance issues is taking place at a time when its economic policy is worsening at a fast pace the standard of living of the people" and accused the government of "class options."

    "Today, the working people, despite the existing legislation, in practice are living working conditions which take us back decades. Almost rarely are the working hours in all of the private sector adhered to and in quite a few sections of the public sector," Alavanos said.

    The Synaspismos leader said that he "will oppose any measure which harms the public character of social insurance and which will disorganise labour stability." On the contrary, he said, "we will support measures which will lead to the reduction of labour time, to stable work for all, to the improvement of salaries and pensions."

    On foreign policy developments, Alavanos said that "the lack of strategy, orientation and actions is apparent."

    On the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the Synaspismos leader said that "we firmly and actively support a mutually acceptable solution of a composite name without negative settlements and ambiguity which can cause tension in the future."

    Alavanos expressed his concern on the situation in the Balkans, while at the same time he expressed strong reservations on the course of Greek-Turkish relations, noting that despite the good climate between the two countries, the placing in doubt on the part of Turkey are persistent and consistent and proposed for there to be "a serious political reaction to Turkey's provocations."


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